Zsuzsa Csergő

Zsuzsa Csergő

Professor | Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Nationalism and Democracy Studies


PhD, MA (George Washington)

Political Studies

Comparative Politics, International Relations

Professor | Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Nationalism and Democracy Studies


(613) 533-6234

Mackintosh-Corry Hall, C402

People Directory Affiliation Category

Research Interests

Queen's University Research Profile

Nationalism, the politics of ethnicity, challenges to democracy, minority democratic agency, Central and East European politics, the politics of European integration

Zsuzsa Csergő would be interested in supervising graduate students in the areas of: ​​​​nationalism, the politics of ethnicity, minority politics, Central and East European politics, issues of European integration.

Brief Biography

Zsuzsa Csergő (PhD in Political Science, The George Washington University, 2000) is The Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Nationalism and Democracy Studies in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. She specializes in the study of nationalism and contemporary challenges to democracy, with particular expertise on Central and Eastern Europe. Before joining the Queen’s faculty, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Women’s Leadership Program in U.S. and International Politics at the George Washington University. From 2013-2020, she was President of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), the largest international scholarly association in the field of nationalism and ethnicity studies. She currently serves as Director of the association’s online initiative, “Virtual ASN.”

Dr. Csergő's research contributes to the understanding of tensions between nationalism and democracy in multiethnic societies. Her articles about nationalism, majority-minority relations, kin-state politics, and minority democratic agency in the EU context have appeared in leading journals in her field, including Perspectives on Politics, Foreign Policy, Publius, Nations and Nationalism, Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, East European Politics and Societies, and other venues. She is the author of Talk of the Nation: Language and Conflict in Romania and Slovakia (Cornell University Press, 2007), co-editor and co-author of collaborative volumes (books and special issues) focused on Europeanization and minority political agency, and Central and East European politics. She is currently writing a book about the sources of minority democratic agency in majoritarian states, based on comparative research on six linguistic minorities in Central and Eastern Europe (Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia, Poles in Lithuania, and Russophones in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).

Dr. Csergő leads the comparative Minority Institutions Database, which officially launched in March, 2023. She is also the Principal Investigator of a collaborative research project entitled “The politics of complex diversity in contested cities” (funded by SSHRC), focused on Montreal, Brussels, Belfast, and Vilnius. Additionally, Csergő is a General Editor of the European Yearbook of Minority Issues, and a member of KINPOL: Observatory on Kin-State Policies, hosted at the University of Glasgow.

Dr. Csergő has received a number of prestigious awards and fellowships, including a Distinguished Alumni award from the George Washington University’s Department of Political Science in 2013, the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in 2006, the 2005 Sherman Emerging Scholar Award from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, the American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council, the George Hoffman Foundation, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. During the 2010-11 academic year, she was a guest scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, Austria. In May 2016, she was a guest scholar at the Institute for Minority Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary. From 2019-2020, she served as a Marie-Skłodowska Curie Fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz.

From January-March 2023, Csergő was a visiting fellow at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University (Washington, DC), and from May-July 2023 a visiting expert at the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg, Germany. From January-June 2024, she is a guest scholar at the Central European University in Vienna, Austria.


For detailed information about political studies courses and instructors, please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate pages. 

Service (2024/2025)

  • The Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Nationalism and Democracy Studies
  • Appointments Committee
  • Departmental Committee
  • Field Convenor (Comparative)
  • Renewal, Tenure & Promotion (RTP) Committee

Selected Publications


Central and East European Politics (5th edition). 2021. Co-edited with Daina Eglitis and Paula Pickering. Rowman & Littlefield.

Europeanization and Minority Political Agency in Post-Communist Europe. 2018. Routledge. Co-edited with Ada Regelmann.

Talk of the Nation: Language and Conflict in Romania and Slovakia (Cornell University Press, 2007)

Special Issues

Europeanization and Changes in Minority Inclusion in Central and Eastern Europe. 2018.  Special issue in Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics, vol. 3 no.4, co-edited with Ognen Vangelov and Balázs Vizi.

Europeanization and Minority Political Action in Central and Eastern Europe. 2017.  Special issue co-edited with Ada Charlotte-Regelmann. Problems of Post-Communism, vol. 64 no.5.

Journal Articles

“Ethno-nationalism and the Subversion of Liberal Democracy.” 2019. Ethnopolitics vol. 17 no. 5: 541-545.

“Europeanization and Collective Rationality in Minority Voting.” 2017. Problems of Post-Communism, vol. 64 no.5: 291-310, co-authored with Ada-Charlotte Regelmann.

“Institutional Outcomes of Territorial Contestation: Lessons from Post-Communist Europe.” 2017. Publius: The Journal of Federalism vol. 47 no.4: 491-521, co-authored with Philippe Roseberry and Stefan Wolff.

“Kosovo and the Framing of Non-Secessionist Self-Government Claims in Romania.” 2013. Europe-Asia Studies vol. 65 no.5: 889-911.

“Liberalism and Cultural Claims in Central and Eastern Europe: Toward a Pluralist Balance.” 2011. Nations and Nationalism, vol.17 no.1:85-107 , co-authored with Kevin Deegan-Krause

"Do we need a language shift in the study of nationalism and ethnicity?  Reflections on Rogers Brubaker's critical scholarly agenda:  Review essay." 2008. Nations and Nationalism, vol. 14 no. 2:393-398

“Nationalist Strategies and European Integration.” 2004. Perspectives on Politics, vol. 2 no.1: 21-37, co-authored with James M. Goldgeier

“Beyond Ethnic Division:  Majority-Minority Debate about the Post-Communist State in Romania and Slovakia.” 2002. East European Politics and Societies, vol. 16 no. 1: 1-29.

Book Chapters

“Central and East Europe: Turbulent Histories, Dramatic Transformations, and Twenty-First-Century Challenges.” 2021. In Csergő, Zsuzsa, Daina S. Egletis and Paula M. Pickering, eds., Central and East European Politics: Changes and Challenges. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers: 3-35, co-authored with Daina S. Egletis and Paula M. Pickering.

“Central and East Europe: Three Questions.” 2021. In Csergő, Zsuzsa, Daina S. Egletis and Paula M. Pickering, eds., Central and East European Politics: Changes and Challenges. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers: 595-608, co-authored with Daina S. Egletis and Paula M. Pickering.

“Nationalism and Its Challenges to Democratic Governance.” 2021. In Csergő, Zsuzsa, Daina S. Egletis and Paula M. Pickering, eds., Central and East European Politics: Changes and Challenges. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers: 67-98, co-authored with Jason Wittenberg.

“Kin-state Activism in Hungary, Romania, and Russia:  The Politics of Ethnic Demography.” 2013. In Tristan Mabry et al, eds. Divided Nations and European Integration (University of Pennsylvania Press, co-authored with James M. Goldgeier.

Policy Papers

“The Impact of Russia’s War on Ukraine on Russophone Minorities in the Baltic States.” 2022. BEAR Network, April 30, 2022; co-authored with Kristina Kallas.

“The Problem of Alienated Russophone Minorities Caught between the EU and Russia.” 2021. BEAR Network, May 18, 2021.

Research Highlights

Research Fellowships

Visiting Expert, European Centre for Minority Issues, Flensburg, Germany. April-July 2023.

Visiting Fellow, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University, US. January-March 2023.

Marie-Skłodowska Curie Fellow, Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz. 2019-2021.


The Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Nationalism and Democracy Studies, 2023.

Distinguished Alumni award, Department of Political Science, George Washington University, 2013.

Comparative Minority Institutions Database

A Comparative Minority Institutions Database

The Comparative Minority Institutions Database (MID) provides publicly accessible data about organizational activities of ethnic minority communities living in countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Website: https://www.queensu.ca/minority-institutions-database/

Contested Cities Project - image of Vilnius from Raconteur.net

The Politics of Complex Diversity in Contested Cities, Principle Investigator

The Complex Diversity in Contested Cities project examines how ethnic newcomers assert political agency in historically divided cities; exploring how this political agency differs from that found in cities that are not historically contested.

Website: https://contestedcities.org/

Virtual ASN

Virtual ASN, Director

Virtual ASN is a global online academic platform linking scholars, students, and members of the broader public interested in questions of nationalism and ethnicity with a regional focus on Europe and Eurasia. Virtual ASN brings together and fosters a worldwide community: From a Distance. Together.

Website: https://nationalities.org/virtual-asn/

Central and East European Politics, Changes and Challenges, Book Cover

Central and East European Politics: Changes and Challenges, Fifth Edition

Zsuzsa Csergő, Daina S. Eglitis, and Paula M. Pickering, Eds. 2021: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

This essential text provides a comprehensive introduction to Central and Eastern Europe, offering a reader-friendly overview of the globally and regionally significant changes and challenges facing the region. The book opens with thematic issue-based chapters, which present the contentious political debates of the region, followed by a series of case-study chapters, which provide a strong historical and contextual foundation.