Tasha S. Philpot and Hanes Walton Jr.
This chapter describes the evolution of African-American political participation. Beginning with early findings in Black political participation, it discusses the major paradigm shifts in this research and their catalysts. The chapter concludes by providing a roadmap for future research in the field.
America’s New Racial/Ethnic Diversity: Immigration, Intermarriage, and Multicultural Identification in the Twenty-first Century
Jennifer Lee and Frank D. Bean
The United States is more racially/ethnically diverse than at any point in the country’s history as a result of immigration, intermarriage, and multiracial identification. The Latino and Asian populations have more than tripled in size since 1970; Latinos are now the largest racial/ethnic minority group, and Asians, the fastest growing group in the country. Also contributing to America’s new diversity is increasing intermarriage and a growing multiracial population. Intermarriage soared more than twenty-fold between 1960 and 2000, and the multiracial population is poised to account for one in five Americans by 2050, and one in three by 2100. However, this new diversity is not evenly apparent across the country. Some states—like California—reflect the new diversity, which is also evident at the metropolitan level. In other states, the new diversity is nearly invisible. The pattern of high and low diversity in the United States reflects the country’s vast heterogeneity.
The most important scholarly finding about the American state is how the politics of race and racial inequality have shaped all aspects of the state’s structure and policy outcomes. The American state performs and combines the standard functions of maintaining order, delivering public policy, monopolizing the legitimate use of violence and maintaining revenues, but always with effect on the politics of race. The American state’s embrace of the politics of racial inequality mark it out as a key case in comparative studies for researchers developing and testing arguments about democratic states with complex histories and fragmentary institutional arrangements.
Contrary to a view that sees racism as an aberration within American liberalism or largely outside the broader dynamics of American politics, historical institutional scholars often emphasize the central place of racial conflict in American politics and especially in the development of the American state. Although racial conflict has been an obstacle to state-building, struggles over race also enhanced state authority in ways that defy conceptions of a weak American state. Approaching American politics through an historical institutional lens helps underscore the way efforts to confront long standing racial divisions and conflict helped to institutionalize key political and social rights.
This chapter offers a critical survey of extant scholarship on the civil rights movement. It highlights topics, organizations, and specific figures and campaigns that have been extensively studied, while also calling attention to other aspects of, or persons or groups in, the movement that have received much less scholarly attention. The piece ends with an extended section on what the author terms “silences, holes, and biases” in the literature on this most important of American social movements. More specifically the author calls for a temporal and geographic broadening of research on the African American freedom struggle, more attention to black activism within a host of institutions (e.g. schools, workplaces, cultural institutions), and increased research on the dynamics of white resistance to collective political action by African Americans.
Kimberley S. Johnson
This article examines the ways in which scholars of American political development (APD) have encountered the color line through their research, and the strides they have made in bringing race back into the field of political science in general and the study of the state in particular. Three core questions about race and APD are considered: How is race defined? When does race matter? In what direction does race matter? Two approaches relating to race and American politics are discussed: the race relations approach and the racial politics (or minority politics) approach. It then explores five challenges that must be addressed in order to overcome the persistent connections between APD and the discipline’s racial anomalism. It also analyzes the role of race in the establishment of the early American welfare state and concludes by reflecting on the persistence of racial inequality and prospects for APD in the twenty-first century.
Terri E. Givens
Despite a long history of colonialism, slavery, immigration, and ethnic conflict in Europe, issues of racism and discrimination have only recently gained the attention of policy makers in many European countries. In this chapter, I will examine how the issue of race has been dealt with in the literature related to European politics and discuss the development of “race relations” or antidiscrimination policy, particularly the situation in France, Britain, and Germany. I will focus on the development of antidiscrimination prior to harmonization under the EU’s racial equality directive (RED) as an example of the public policy implications of immigration and race in Europe.
David Lublin and Shaun Bowler
Every democratic process short of unanimity produces opinion minorities. Political divisions along anchored demographic characteristics like language, religion, race, or ethnicity challenge pluralist models of governance by threatening to entrench the exclusion of minority groups from political power. Especially when attuned to ethnic geography, electoral engineering through manipulation of the electoral system and other rules governing the electoral process, such as boundary delimitation, reserved seats, ballot-access requirements, and ethnic party bans, can help promote either inclusion or exclusion of minorities. Ensuring long-term interethnic peace has proved more difficult. Scholars continue to grapple with how to ensure minority inclusion without freezing existing divisions.
Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: A Critical Review of the Literature and Suggestions for a Research Agenda
Peter Thisted Dinesen and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov
Due to its wide-ranging implications for social cohesion in diversifying Western countries, the question of the potential negative consequences of ethnic diversity for social trust is arguably the most contentious question in the literature on social trust. In this chapter we critically review the empirical evidence for a negative relationship between contextual ethnic diversity (measured locally within countries) and social trust. We cautiously conclude that there are indications of a negative relationship, although with important variations across study characteristics including national setting, context unit analyzed, and conditioning on moderating influences. Building on the review, we highlight a number of paths for theoretical and methodological advances, which we argue would advance the literature on the relationship between ethnic diversity and social trust.
James D. Fearon
This article studies ethnic mobilization and ethnic violence. It reviews some of the salient empirical patterns that concern cross-national and temporal variation in the politicization of ethnicity and ethnic violence. It also tries to explain the prevalence and variation of politicized ethnicity, and then arguments proposing to explain the occurrence of ethnic violence.