Steven Burg publishes in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

Aug. 04, 2013

Professor Steven L. Burg, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, and Lachen T. Chernyha '07, M.A. '08, have coauthored "Asymmetric Devolution and Ethnoregionalism in Spain: Mass Preferences and the Microfoundations of Stability" in the August 2013 issue of the journal Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. Work funded, in part, by the Research Circle on Democracy and Cultural Pluralism, Department of Politics, Brandeis University.

Abstract: This article examines the impact of asymmetrical devolution on mass preferences for devolution and voting behavior in the regions of Spain. Rather than mitigating demands for greater devolution, asymmetry encourages the escalation of such demands in both the ethnically distinct and the majority-dominated regions. Preferences for symmetry and perceptions of inequality that result from asymmetry are transformed into pressures for further devolution via the electoral mechanism. These findings suggest asymmetrical devolution may be an unstable solution for managing ethnoregionalism, and that Stepan, Linz, and Yadov's strong endorsement of asymmetrical federalism as a tool for the management of ethnoregionalism in democracies should be qualified.