The Securitization of Ethnic Minorities Caught Between States

Principal Investigator: Zsuzsa Csergő
Start Date: Summer 2021

This project focuses on the impact of securitization on the democratic agency of ethnic minorities “caught between states” – in other words, where cross-border ethnic kinship becomes politicized in inter-state conflict. Russia’s war on Ukraine, perpetrated on the pretense of defending Russian-speaking kin across the border, has increased the urgency for scholars to provide helpful answers to questions around kin-state interventions. This project shifts attention to minority populations affected by kin-state activism – in other words, people living in minority status in their home-states with real or assumed connections to an activist kin-state. Such minorities are often perceived by titular majority members as “fifth columns” of other states. This project explores the impact of securitization generated by this constellation on the ability of minority actors living in such environments to pursue democratic agency in their home-states. The aim is to explain variations in processes of securitization triggered by kin-state activism, and how different processes of securitization, in turn, impact minority democratic agency.