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Snyder: From voting to violence

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.

Snyder. 2000. From voting to violence.

In Brief

Research question:

Why does democratization sometimes cause nationalist conflict, and sometimes not? What do we need to do to make democratization less dangerous?

Main Argument

Basically, he looks at this chain of events that can happen during democratization: (1) Conditions that structure elites' decision of whether to promote nationalism; (2) Conditions that structure whether the masses are persuaded by these appeals; (3) Conditions that structure what type of nationalism will emerge; (4) Each type of nationalism has different consequences for war and peace (page 89).

Types of nationalism

He creates a typology of nationalisms: Civic, Ethnic, Revolutionary, Counterrevolutionary, which are delineated by strength of national political institutions, and adaptability of nationalist elites' interests.

Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview

Chapter 2: Snyder's Theory

This chapter outlines the theory of elite persuasion. Basically, he looks at this chain of events that can happen during democratization: (1) Conditions that structure elites' decision of whether to promote nationalism; (2) Conditions that structure whether the masses are persuaded by these appeals; (3) Conditions that structure what type of nationalism (of the four types on page 39) will emerge; (4) Each type of nationalism has different consequences for war and peace. (page 89)

(1) Conditions that structure elites' decision of whether to promote nationalism:

There are two factors here: opportunity and motivation.

(2) Conditions that structure whether the masses are persuaded:

Having weak media institutions really helps. Specifically, Snyder identifies three conditions related to the structure of the "marketplace of ideas":

How nationalist persuasion causes violent conflict

(3) Conditions that structure what type of nationalism will emerge:

Three main variables here: level/timing of social and economic development (draws heavily on Przeworski et al), adaptibility of elite interests to democracy, and strength of institutions


Chapter 3: How Democratization Sparked Counterrevolutionary German Nationalism

Why Elites Promoted Nationalism Pre-WWI

Why Weimar Germany was Especially Vulnerable

Research by the same authors

Research on similar subjects

Tags

Snyder, Jack (author)Political ScienceComparative PoliticsDemocratizationEthnic ConflictNationalismElections

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