Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

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Ethnic Claims and Moral Economies

The Ethnic Claims and Moral Economies workshop has resulted in the following forthcoming publication:

Berman, Bruce, André Laliberté and Stephen Larin (eds.) Ethnic Claims and Moral Economies UBC Press forthcoming

December 13 - 15, 2007
University of Oxford

  • Co-organizers:
    • Bruce Berman (Queen's University)
    • André Laliberté (UQAM)
    • David Anderson (Oxford)

The claims and demands put forward by different ethnic groups in varied social contexts cover a wide spectrum from access, integration and absorption into the wider community to recognition of communal rights, internal self-governance, power-sharing, federal autonomy and outright secession. If we want to go beyond merely cataloguing these demands, we need to be able to explain the factors that influence their particular development (which may vary for a particular ethnic community at different periods and in different contexts), which in turn opens the possibilities of shaping and responding to them in democratic (and non-democratic) polities. The challenge is to do so in a way that situates the understanding of the politicization of ethnicity in relationship to the major social, economic, political and cultural forces of modernity. This workshop explored the concept of "moral economy" as a way of understanding the internal and external politics of ethnic communities and the demands they produce. "Moral economy" refers to that part of political culture which attempts to legitimate hierarchies of power and wealth in particular communities. It describes the cultural and ideological content of what Gramsci refers to as hegemony.