Department of Political Science


Dr Sherrill Stroschein

Sherrill Stroschein

Dr Sherrill Stroschein

Reader in Politics

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Dr. Sherrill Stroschein joined UCL in September 2005 as Programme Coordinator of the MSc in Democracy and Comparative Politics. She was previously an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (2003-2005) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Ohio University (2001-2005). She has also been a fellow at the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University (2000-2001). She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University (2000), and her undergraduate degree from Amherst College.

Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012). Paperback version published in 2014.

Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe Book cover

One problem of democracy is that it disadvantages minorities. But this book shows how ethnic Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia used protest to bring about policy changes - an informal means to integrate themselves into the governance process. Protest helped ethnic groups learn about the nature and limits of each other's claims. Democratic transition was forged through this incremental, contentious process of de facto deliberation.

Governance in Ethnically Mixed Cities (London: Routledge, 2007). Paperback version published in 2016.

Governance in Ethnically Mixed Cities

This collection of original essays breaks new ground by examining the dynamics of ethnic politics at the local level, rather than following in the footsteps of many previous studies which focus on the macropolitical level of states and nations.
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Her research examines the politics of ethnicity in democratic and democratising states, especially democratic processes in states with mixed ethnic or religious populations. She has published articles in Perspectives on Politics, Party Politics, Nations and Nationalism, Political Science Quarterly, Europe-Asia Studies, and Ethnopolitics, as well as other journals. She is also the author of Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2012, paperback 2014). The book examines ethnic minority protest as a means to influence policy outcomes in Central Europe, for groups that consistently find themselves on the losing side of elections. The event analysis for the book and much of her other work relies on non-English sources, and she speaks a number of European languages.

Dr. Stroschein is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, and was the Programme Chair of the association's annual conference in New York from 2006-12. She has been the Associate Editor of the journal Problems of Post-Communism since 2012, and was one of the editorial team members for the Journal of International Relations and Development for 2008-2011. She also serves on the editorial boards of Ethnopolitics and Nations and Nationalism, as well as the Slovenian-based Treatises and Documents, the Journal of Ethnic Studies, and the Hungary-based journal Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics. She has reviewed manuscripts for a number of journals and book publishers, as well as for applications for promotion and grant awards. She has been the primary PhD supervisor for four completed students and has three current PhD students.

Description of and podcast on my current project funded by the ISRF, on ethnic enclaves

Piece for the ISRF Bulletin on methods choices in social science, and then a piece on how we can talk about politics under polarized conditions.

New York Times piece mentions my book as a "landmark study" (Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe)

Video from our panel on "Countering New Threats to Democracy: What the West Can Learn from Eastern Europe," SSEES, March 2017. (Yes, I do have two broken arms in this video.)

If you read Romanian, an interview on my research with LaPunkt can be found here.

The Fabian Society held a panel on current Hungarian politics at Westminster in November 2018. I was part of the panel, with SoundCloud recording to be found here

Twitter: @sstroschein2

Stroschein CV.doc

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  • Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe, Cambridge University Press, July 2012, paperback version May 2014.

    Recipient of two honorable mentions: 1) from the International Studies Association (ISA) section on Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies, Distinguished Book Award 2014, and 2) for the 2013 Joseph Rothschild Book Prize, Association for the Study of Nationalities.

    In societies divided on ethnic and religious lines, problems of democracy are magnified -- particularly where groups are mobilized into parties. With the principle of majority rule, minorities should be less willing to endorse democratic institutions where their parties persistently lose elections. While such problems should also hamper transitions to democracy, several diverse Eastern European states have formed democracies even under these conditions. In this book, Stroschein argues that sustained protest and contention by ethnic Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia brought concessions on policies that they could not achieve through the ballot box, in contrast to Transcarpathia, Ukraine. In Romania and Slovakia, contention during the 1990s made each group accustomed to each other's claims, and aware of the degree to which each could push its own. Ethnic contention became a de facto deliberative process that fostered a moderation of group stances, allowing democratic consolidation to slowly and organically take root. A summary of some of the book's arguments from a presentation at LSEE appears on the LSEE Blog site. A symposium on the book, with commentary by Mark Beissinger, Zsuzsa Csergo, Elise Giuliano, and Myra Waterbury, along with author response, is in Nationalities Papers 43, no. 4 (2015), pp. 634-51.

Recent grants

  • Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF), Mid-Career Fellowship, 2017-18. Project: "Ethnic Enclaves, Reversed Politics, and the Entrenchment of Difference." Project summary available via the ISRF website.
  • British Academy grant for fieldwork research in Eastern Europe, summer 2007
    Relational Evolution of Ethnic Political Identities in Romania and Slovakia, 1989-1999: A Qualitative Event Database
    This research consists of a collection of digital photos of local newspaper articles in Hungarian, Romanian, and Slovak, which chronologically document the incremental emergence of ethnic political identities in Romania and Slovakia. The collapse of Communism in 1989 provided a unique moment in which political actors began to contest on an open political field for the first time in decades. It is in this setting that the "us-them" dynamics of ethnic politics can be traced over time.

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Main publications

Live Publications Database

Edited volume/journal special issue

  • Governance in Ethnically Mixed Cities, editor and author of introduction, "Politics is Local: Ethnoreligious Dynamics under the Microscope" (London / New York: Routledge, 2007, paprback edition 2016). Previously a special issue of Ethnopolitics 6, no. 2, 2007.

Journal forum

  • "Everyday Responses to Marketization: Post-Socialism at the Grassroots," introduction to Everyday Postsocialism, forum for the Journal of International Relations and Development, coordinator, with Stephen Deets and Antje Vetterlein. The forum features short pieces on the everyday adjustments that individuals had to make to markets and privatization after 1989, Vol. 12, no. 4, November, 2009.

Journal articles

  • "Ethnic Conflict: Looking Inside Groups," Ethnopolitics 16, no. 1, November 2016, pp. 74-81. 
  • "Consociational Settlements and Reconstruction: Bosnia in Comparative Perspective (1995-Present)," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 656, no. 1, November 2014, pp. 97-115.
  • "Discourse in Bosnia and Macedonia on the Independence of Kosovo: When and What is a Precedent?" Europe-Asia Studies 65, no. 5, July 2013, pp. 874-88.
  • "Must the State be a Vertical Network? Considering Kosovo," Sudosteuropa 60, no. 4, 2012, pp. 514-25.
  • "Microdynamics of Bilateral Ethnic Mobilization," Ethnopolitics 10, no. 1, March 2011, pp. 1-34.
  • “Demography in Ethnic Party Fragmentation: Hungarian Local Voting in Romania,” Party Politics 17, no. 2, March 2011, pp. 189-204.
  • "Making or Breaking Kosovo: Applications of Dispersed State Control," Perspectives on Politics 6, no. 4, December 2008, pp. 655-74.
  • "Dilemmas of Autonomy and Liberal Pluralism: Examples Involving Hungarians in Central Europe," with Stephen Deets (Babson College, US), Nations and Nationalism 11, no. 2, April 2005, pp. 285-305.
  • “Examining Ethnic Violence and Partition in Bosnia-Herzegovina," Ethnopolitics 4, no. 1, March 2005, pp. 49-64.
  • “What Belgium Can Teach Bosnia: The Uses of Autonomy in ‘Divided House’ States," Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe (JEMIE), issue 3, 2003.
  • "NGO Strategies for Hungarian and Roma Minorities in Central Europe," Voluntas 13, no. 1, March 2002, pp. 1-26.
  • "Measuring Ethnic Party Success in Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine," Problems of Post-Communism 48, no. 4, July/August 2001, pp. 59-69.
  • "Missing Boundaries of Comparison: The Political Community," with Peter Juviler (Barnard College, US), Political Science Quarterly 114, no. 3, Fall 1999, pp. 435-53.

Selected blogs and other writings

Book chapters

  • "Ethnic Minorities," in Adam Fagan and Petr Kopecky, eds., The Routledge Handbook of East European Politics (Routledge, 2017), pp. 213-24.
  • "How Non-Territorial Autonomy Reconfigures State-Minority Negotiations, For Better Outcomes," in Tove Malloy, Aleksander Osipov, and Balazs Vizi, eds., Managing Diversity through Non-Territorial Autonomy: Assessing Advantages, Deficiencies, and Risks (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). Originated as a project with the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI).
  • "Institutional Change and Identity Shift: The Case of Scotland," in Jyotirmaya Tripathy and Sudarsan Padmanabahn, eds., Becoming Minority: How Discourses and Policies Produce Minorities in Europe and India (London/New Delhi: Sage, 2014), pp. 111-29.
  • "The Autonomous Structures of Native American Reservations," in Levente Salat, Sergiu Constantin, Alexander Osipov, and Istvan Gergo Szekely, eds., Autonomy Arrangements around the World: A Collection of Well and Lesser Known Cases (Cluj-Napoca and Bolzano: Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities,  ISPMN, and the European Academy of Bolzano, EURAC: 2014), pp. 187-99. Originated as a project with the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI).
  • "Organic versus Strategic Approaches to Peacebuilding," in Roger Mac Ginty, ed., The Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding (London: Routledge, January 2013), pp. 276-86.
  • "The Role of Brokerage and Network Clientelism in Defusing Self-Determination Movements," in Muge Aknur, ed., Challenges to Balkan Security and the Contribution of International Organizations (Izmir, Turkey: Dokuz Eylul University: 2009).
  • "Territory and the Hungarian Status Law: Time for New Assumptions?," in Osamu Ieda, ed., Beyond Sovereignty: From Status Law to Transnational Citizenship? (Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Legal Studies, and the Slavic Research Centre, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, 2006), available here.
  • "Hungarians in Transcarpathian Ukraine," in Ukraine and Its Western Neighbors, James Clem and Nancy Popson, eds. (Washington, D.C.: The Woodrow Wilson Center, 2000), pp. 51-65.
  • "The Components of Coexistence: Hungarian Minorities and Inter-ethnic Relations in Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine," in John Micgiel, ed., State and Nation Building in East Central Europe: Contemporary Perspectives (New York: Columbia University, Institute on East Central Europe, 1996), pp. 153-75.

Recent papers and other works in progress

  • Ethnic Enclaves, Local Politics, and Degrees of State Control, book manuscript.
  • "Polarization and the Relational Emergence of Political Entities."
  • "Moderating Effects of Patronage in the Middle East," with Gul Kurtoglu-Eskisar, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.
  • "When Are Parties Just Parties? And When Are They Ethnic, National, Religious, or Populist?"
  • "Local Politics and the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine"
  • "Routinizing Ethnic Conflict: Dynamics of a Post-Riot Mayoral Election"

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