A rational choice approach to the rise and decline of ethnoregional political parties

Margaret Levi, Michael Hechter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The reemergence of ethnoregionalism in the advanced industrial democracies presented a paradox to scholars. Diffusion theories of national development anticipated that the spread of markets, industrialization, urbanization, and national systems of education, politics, administration, and conscription would diminish regional political, economic, and cultural distinctiveness. This chapter presents the cautious beginning of such a project. The ethnoregional party itself must be able to supply benefits potential members value, or else nonparticipation would be the more rational choice. Although the cultural division of labor (CDL) may account for why people perceive it in their interest to engage in collective action around questions of ethnicity, one of the most important findings of the literature on social movements is that interest is not sufficient to sustain political organization. The existence of a CDL alone should explain most of the variation in the geographical distribution of the ethnoregional political parties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew Nationalisms of the Developed West
Subtitle of host publicationToward Explanation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780367442347
ISBN (Print)9781000764352
StatePublished - Mar 13 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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