Politique comparée

B18(b) - Nationalism, Ethnic or Religious Minorities, and Protest

Date: Jun 14 | Heure: 12:00pm to 01:30pm | Salle:

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Sara McGuire (Drexel University)

American Nationalism, Puerto Rico, and Latinos: André Lecours (University of Ottawa)
Abstract: This paper examines how the new inflection given to American nationalism by the Trump administration was deployed against an ethnic group (Latinos) and a minority nation (Puerto Rico) and it analyzes the consequences of such inflection. Ridden with discriminatory rhetoric and hate speech, the Trump administration promoted policies that deeply harmed Latinos as well as those seeking asylum in the U.S. (mainly Central and South Americans). In addition, Trump’s abysmal response to Puerto Rico after hurricane María and the COVID pandemic ravaged the island showed his deep despise for that territory and its people. The new nationalism of Trump “othered” those deemed different and nefarious for the return of America to “greatness,” and consequently sought to throw them into darkness or expel them altogether. However, Latinos and Puerto Ricans (and their allies) responded to Trump’s attacks by becoming more politically involved both at the polls and through activism and public demonstrations. Ultimately, the paper makes a case for how this new form of ethnonationalist impetus ironically placed Latinos “back on the map” of political contestation, elevating their voices and plights for their place in America and against racism and xenophobia.

People engagement in direct democracy comparison of italian referendum with uk and canada.: Umme Ummara (University of Molise)
Abstract: Direct democracy is a form of governance in which citizens have a direct, equal, decisive role in public policy formation and governance. In a direct democracy, citizens participate directly in the decision-making process, usually through meetings, referendums, or initiatives, instead of relying on representatives to make decisions on their behalf. Referendums are a tool used in direct democracy, allowing citizens to vote directly on specific issues. This comparative study examines the referendums in Italy, the UK and Canada based on people engagement (turnout and voting behavior). It consists of a mixed approach research method; data collection conducted through a primary source, which included literature reviews, surveys and interviews, as well as secondary sources. Italy, the United Kingdom, and Canada have their own unique political, social, and cultural context thus; different public approach to direct democracy exists in each country. In Italy, referendums are a well-established part of the political landscape and has used to address important constitutional and political issues. The most recent one, in 2016, saw a low voter turnout of around 59% with a majority vote against proposed constitutional reforms. In the United Kingdom, the use of direct democracy is limited, and citizens' engagement in decision-making is mainly through indirect methods such as elections and representation. Referendums are a relatively recent addition to the political system in the UK and have been used only twice in modern history. The first was the Brexit referendum in 2016, which saw a high level of voter engagement and a close result, and the second was the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, which saw a voter turnout of around 84%. In Canada, direct democracy is used in the form of citizen-initiated referendums at the provincial level In conclusion, people's engagement in referendums varies between Italy, the United Kingdom, and Canada, with each country having its own unique political, cultural, and social context that influences participation. Our study would help in policy-making related to the negotiation process and policy decisions to restore better process of conflict resolution. Nevertheless, while referendums can play a role in the negotiation process by giving citizens a direct say in important decisions, they should be used judiciously and in conjunction with other methods of public consultation and engagement.

Ideological Transformation After Patron Cooptation? The Resilience of Ethno-Clientelist Ties Amid Hindu Nationalism in a Scheduled Tribe Constituency in India: Pratik Mahajan (McGill University)
Abstract: Ethno-majoritarian parties in multi-ethnic democracies need to gain ground among ethnic minority voters to be electorally viable. Strategies deployed by such parties focus on non-state service provision and narrative reconstruction. Where these parties lack prior organizational capacity, they coopt local elites with the capacity for patronage provision to gain votes. While co-opting local patrons leads to electoral support, can such parties transform this into ideological support for their ethno-majoritarianism? I focus on the shift of the Bhils, a Scheduled Tribe minority in western India, toward the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Using a mixed-methods design in the Nandurbar federal constituency, including a novel visual conjoint survey experiment with 678 voters from 40 Bhil villages and intensive interviews with a sub-sample of 80 voters in 10 villages, I find Bhil voters prefer party platforms favouring tribal and material provision over Hindu nationalism. Exploratory results show this difference is particularly driven by BJP-leaning voters in state assembly constituencies where the BJP coopted a local patron to win the seat. Interviews corroborate these findings, showing a continued attachment to tribal identity and reluctance to support Hindu-nationalist mobilization. The interviews also suggest an enduring ethno-clientelist loyalty to local patrons, particularly among BJP-voting Bhils, rather than party affiliation determining their vote. Drawing on the literature on ethno-clientelism and Lawler’s nested identity theory, I identify the mechanism by which the local patron, sharing a lower-order ethnic identity with the voters, mediates the relationship between ethno-majoritarian parties and their ethnic minority voters. The upshot is that such parties continue to rely on coopted patrons to retain the electoral support of ethnic minority voters, at least in the near term.

The Political and Social Character of Mosques in Europe and North America: Aubrey Westfall (Wheaton College)
Abstract: Empirical research consistently demonstrates that mosque attendance is associated with higher levels of civic engagement for Muslims North America and Europe. However, some results hint at important conditions for this relationship. For example, Read (2015) found positive effects between mosque involvement and civic engagement for men, but not for women in the United States. I have found that the relationship is limited to attendance that engages congregants in activities other than prayer (Westfall 2018). Jamal (2005) and Simmons (2008) argue that the congregational diversity in American mosques provides a unique opportunity for the development of a pan-ethnic Muslim identity. These findings beg the question of how the mosque promotes engagement, and for whom? Do similar relationships appear cross-nationally? This paper engages with original survey data from Muslims in Canada, the United States, France, Germany, and the UK, to explore social and political dynamics within mosques, and their connection with congregants’ political activity and social engagement outside the mosque. It considers the composition of the mosque community (ethnically, socioeconomically, demographically), the mosque decision making structure, and congregant satisfaction with their mosque. It compares these attributes across different national contexts where distinct histories of colonization and patterns of immigration have shaped the relationships between the mosques and the national governments. The results enhance our understanding of how the mosque provides political and social resources that encourage different types of civic engagement.