May 9, 2023
ASN interviews Dr. Koter about a role of ethnicity in shaping African politics and the robustness of national identity in African countries, an area of research often overshadowed by ethnic identity.
April 3, 2023
Can we (and should we) compare China to other countries when analyzing nationalism? David Stroup discusses his latest article “Chinese Nationalism: Insights and Opportunities for Comparative Studies” (Nationalities Papers, vol.51 #1)
February 26, 2023
Interview with Vladimir Đorđević, Mikhail Suslov, Marek Čejka, Ondřej Mocek and Martin Hrabálek about their latest article in Nationalities Papers.
February 10, 2023
Ana Bracic comments on Inclusion, exclusion, and ethical considerations in ethnic politics – themes detailed in her latest state-of-the-field article “Ethnicity and Social Exclusion” (Nationalities Papers vol. 50 #6)
ASN: How would you define social exclusion?
AB: The concept of exclusion is evolving, but one iteration that I’m partial to defines it as a process by which individuals or groups are denied the opportunity to participate in the key activities of the society in which they live – regardless of whether or not they actually want to participate in those activities.
ASN: What forms of exclusion do, for example, Roma communities in Europe face?
AB: Roma communities are tremendously diverse, and their experiences with exclusion in Europe are likewise varied. While some Roma might not experience much exclusion, others may be excluded on multiple dimensions at the same time. For example, some Roma students are placed in segregated classrooms with inferior teachers and experience discrimination while at school. When young Roma graduate and seek jobs, some face discrimination by employers. Numerous Roma communities live in isolated, segregated neighborhoods, some separated from the rest of town by walls that non-Roma residents have built. These neighborhoods often have inferior service provision, lacking proper electricity and water. And, compared to non-Roma, Roma in many localities are more likely to be abused by the police.
ASN: Could you give us an example of degrees of exclusion?
AB: By “degrees” of exclusion, I mean to consider along how many dimensions people are excluded. To unpack a bit: People can be excluded in different ways. Some experience exclusion in access to education, some experience it in access to housing, and some in access to health. Because of administrative barriers, some people cannot secure social services, and some even have trouble securing basic documents. Some people are unable to vote, or marry, or adopt children. These are just a few dimensions along which people can be excluded. Now, some people are excluded on one of these dimensions, while others face exclusion in multiple spheres—these are different degrees of exclusion.
ASN: What topics are currently lacking in research on exclusion?
AB: I think the main challenge that we should work to address is trying to understand how the pieces I just described above fit together. Scholars produce excellent research that explores individual dimensions of exclusion. In real life, however, some people are likely to experience exclusion along multiple dimensions at the same time. Someone who is excluded from quality education may be more likely to experience exclusion in employment, housing, and access to health as well. And exclusionary forces that operate along all these dimensions might be interconnected and mutually reinforcing. This complex nature of combined or all-encompassing exclusion is something that we need to understand better. But it’s hard to do—it’s much more manageable to design and conduct a study that isolates the effect of one type of exclusion. Taking up this challenge is a worthwhile effort, however. I believe that a better understanding of the pernicious, interconnected dynamics of exclusion would help us build better strategies to break it down.
ASN: As social scientists, can we avoid exclusion and make research a more inclusive field?
AB: Inclusive research practices involve the researched community in all aspects of research production, from devising a research question to interpreting and presenting research findings. Such research holds the potential to be exceptionally impactful both scientifically and in terms of meaningful contributions to the researched community (importantly, the community in each instance of collaboration defines what those contributions are). Few scholars engage in these practices completely; some engage in them partially, by consulting the community when developing research protocols and then returning to present results; and some do not take part in these practices at all. Collaborating with members of the researched community is ethical and also holds the potential of producing superior insight. I hope more scholars engage in these practices more fully going forward. I hope to do the same myself.
Ana Bracic. “Ethnicity and Social Exclusion” (Nationalities Papers vol. 50 #6, pp. 1045-1056)