An ethnocracy is a type of political structure in which the state
apparatus is appropriated by a dominant ethnic group (or groups) to
further its interests, power and resources. Ethnocratic regimes
typically display a combination of 'thin' democratic facade covering a
more profound ethnic structure, in which ethnicity (or race, or
religion) – and not citizenship – is the key to securing power and
resources. An ethnocratic society facilitates the ethnicization of the
state by the dominant group, through the expansion of control, often
through conflict with minorities and neighboring states.
In the 20th century, a few states passed, or attempted to pass,
nationality laws, through efforts that share certain similarities. All
took place in countries with at least one national minority that
sought full equality in the state or in a territory that had become
part of the state and in which it had lived for generations.
1 Mono-ethnocracy vs. poly-ethnocracy
Mono-ethnocracy vs. poly-ethnocracy
In October 2012, Lise Morjé Howard introduced the terms
mono-ethnocracy and poly-ethnocracy. Mono-ethnocracy is a type of
regime where one ethnic group dominates, which conforms with the
traditional understanding of ethnocracy. Poly-ethnocracy is a type of
regime where more than one ethnic group governs the state. Both mono-
and poly-ethnocracy are types of ethnocracy.
Ethnocracy is founded on
the assumptions that ethnic groups are primordial, ethnicity is the
basis of political identity, and citizens rarely share multiple ethnic
Lise Morjé Howard has labeled Belgium as both a poly-ethnocracy
and a democracy. Citizens in Belgium exercise political rights found
in democracies, such as voting and free speech. However, Belgian
politics is increasingly defined by ethnic divisions between the
Flemish and Francophone. For example, all the major political parties
are formed around either a Flemish or Francophone identity.
Furthermore, bilingual education has disappeared from most Francophone
Israel has been labeled an ethnocracy by scholars such as: Alexander
Kedar, Shlomo Sand, Oren Yiftachel, Asaad Ghanem,
Haim Yakobi, Nur Masalha and Hannah Naveh.
However, scholars such as Gershon Shafir, Yoav Peled and Sammy Smooha
prefer the term ethnic democracy to describe Israel, a term which
is intended to represent a "middle ground" between an ethnocracy
and a liberal democracy.Smooha in particular argues that ethnocracy,
allowing a privileged status to a dominant ethnic majority while
ensuring that all individuals have equal rights, is defensible. His
opponents reply that in so far as Israel contravenes equality in
practice, the term 'democratic' in his equation is flawed.
majoritarian (one man, one vote) non-democratic (varieties of white domination) partitionist (creating new political entities) consociational (power-sharing by proportional representation and elite accommodation) (1985:5)
Lijphart argues strongly in favour of the consociational model and his
categories illustrates that, on the constitutional level, state power
can be distributed along two dimensions: Legal-institutional and
territorial. Along the legal-institutional dimension we can
distinguish between singularism (power centralised according to
membership in a specific group), pluralism (power-distribution among
defined groups according to relative numerical strength), and
universalism (power-distribution without any group-specific
qualifications). The three main alternatives on the territorial
dimension are the unitary state, "intermediate restructuring" (within
one formal sovereignty), and partition (creating separate political
Ethnocracy indicates a specific principle of
power-distribution in a society.
Turkey has been described as an ethnocracy by Bilge Azgin. Azgin
points to government policies whose goals are the "exclusion,
marginalization, or assimilation" of minority groups that are
non-Turkish as the defining elements of Turkish ethnocracy. As'ad
Ghanem[who?] also considers Turkey as an ethnocracy. Jack
Fong[who?] describes Turkey's policy of referring to its Kurdish
minority as "mountain Turks" and to its refusal to acknowledge any
separate Kurdish identity as elements of the Turkish ethnocracy.
Human rights in Estonia
^ Blatman, Daniel (27 November 2014). "The 'Nation-state' Bill: Jews
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^ Yiftachel, O. (1999) '"Ethnocracy": the Politics of Judaizing
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^ Yiftachel, O.; Ghanem, A. (2005). "'Understanding Ethnocratic
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[...]," writes Asaad Ghanem in the Future Vision Document
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^ Roy, Ananya; Nezar, AlSayyad (2003). Urban Informality:
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^ Masalha, Nur (2003). The Bible and Zionism: Invented Traditions,
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knowledge, Taylor & Francis, 2010 pp.63-67.
^ Michael Galchinsky, Jews and Human Rights: Dancing at Three
Weddings, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 p.144
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^ Jubulis, M. (2001). "
Politics of Ethnocracies: Strategies and Dilemmas of Ethnic Domination Nils A. Butenschøn
v t e
Clan Ethnic group
Ethnolinguistic group Ethnoreligious group
Indigenous peoples Ingroups and outgroups Meta-ethnicity Metroethnicity Minority group Monoethnicity Nation Nationality Panethnicity Polyethnicity Population Race Symbolic ethnicity Tribe
Anthropology Ethnic studies Ethnoarchaeology Ethnobiology
Ethnobotany Ethnozoology Ethnoecology
Ethnocinema Ethnogeology Ethnography
Autoethnography Clinical Critical Cyber- Netnography Online Person-centered Salvage Transidioethnography Video
Ethnohistory Ethnolinguistics Ethnology Ethnomathematics Ethnomethodology Ethnomuseology Ethnomusicology Ethnophilosophy Ethnopoetics Ethnoscience Ethnosemiotics Ethnotaxonomy
Groups by region
Indigenous Canada Mexico United States Central America South America
Central Asia East Asia Northern Asia South Asia Southeast Asia West Asia
Identity and ethnogenesis
Cross-race effect Cultural assimilation Cultural identity Demonym Development Endonym Ethnic flag Ethnic option Ethnic origin Ethnic religion Ethnicity in census Ethnofiction Ethnonym Folk religion Historical Imagined community Kinship Legendary progenitor Lineage-bonded society Mythomoteur Mores Nation-building Nation state National language National myth Origin myth Pantribal sodality Tribal name Tribalism Urheimat
Ideology and ethnic conflict
Ethnic bioweapon Ethnic cleansing Ethnic hatred Ethnic joke Ethnic nationalism Ethnic nepotism Ethnic penalty Ethnic slur Ethnic stereotype Ethnic violence Ethnocentrism Ethnocide Ethnosymbolism Indigenism Separatist mo