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‘Ethno-business’: the unexpected consequence of post-1989 policies for the political representation of national minorities in Romania

Carstocea, A.E.; (2012) ‘Ethno-business’: the unexpected consequence of post-1989 policies for the political representation of national minorities in Romania. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The present PhD thesis focuses on a series of unexpected consequences arising from the post-1989 policies for the parliamentary representation of small national minorities in Romania. These unexpected consequences – brought together by the media under the label of ‘ethno-business’ – include controversial practices whereby political entrepreneurs attempt to use the existing legal framework for the protection of national minorities in order to obtain material, financial or political gains. This topic is to date largely unresearched – the existing literature on cases of ‘ethno-business’ in Romania includes a handful of studies, some of which of problematic academic standard. The unexpected outcomes of the post-1989 policies for the political representation of national minorities in Romania fall principally under three categories: (a) the extreme fragmentation of the political environment of several national minorities; (b) the case of non-minority leaders, whereby political entrepreneurs who are not members of a national minority contest elections on a national minority mandate; (c) attempts by political entrepreneurs to re-construct ethnic identities largely assimilated, so as to enable them to stand for election on a minority mandate. This research addresses two main areas of concern. First, it seeks to clarify the causes which led to the emergence of the unexpected consequences outlined above, locating them in a historically instrumental approach of the Romanian state towards minority rights policies, as well as in a specific set of policies set up after 1989. A further aim of this research is to assess the effects of these unexpected consequences on the political representation of small minorities. Using Hanna Pitkin’s theory of representation as a framework of analysis, each of the three types of unexpected consequences will be analysed in relation to relevant case studies. Such an interpretation seeks to refine existing theories concerning ethnic parties and the political representation of national minorities in post-communist contexts.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:‘Ethno-business’: the unexpected consequence of post-1989 policies for the political representation of national minorities in Romania
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

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