Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lecture | Contemporary History and International Relations Research Seminar (CHIRRS)

Ethnicity and Political Competition in Eastern Europe

  • Jan Rovny (Centre d’études européennes and LIEPP at Sciences Po)
Tuesday 12 February 2019
Contemporary History and International Relations Research Seminar (CHIRRS) year 2018 - 2019
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
2.60 (Conference room)


Eastern European politics is largely seen as erratic, unstructured, and in flux. If any patterning can be found, most works expect it to be largely shaped by the experience of communism. Jan Rovny argues that eastern European politics, despite their specific post-communist characteristics, follow a number of long-standing sociological and political regularities. They are in fact significantly shaped by state-building, ethnicity, and religion — all classical Lipset-Rokkanian divides well known to scholars of established democracies. Contrary to received wisdom on eastern Europe, Rovny suggests that eastern European politics are deeply structured by factors separate from communism, and, contrary to most ethnic politics literature, he demonstrates that ethnicity has in some conditions induced the formation of liberal ideological positions in the region. Building on this sociological understanding of eastern European politics, Rovny explains the responses to ‘new’ politics of European integration and migration in eastern Europe. 

About the speaker

Jan Rovny is an assistant professor at the Centre d’études européennes and LIEPP at Sciences Po, Paris. His research concentrates on political competition in Europe with the aim of uncovering the political conflict lines in different countries. He explores the issues that political parties contest across the continent, the strategies that different parties follow, as well as the preferences and voting patterns of voters. He is one of the principal investigators of the Chapel Hill Expert Survey on party positioning. He teaches courses in comparative politics and quantitative methodology, and acts as the academic advisor to the Sciences Po Summer School.


CHIRRS (Contemporary History and International Relations Research Seminar) brings together historians, area specialists and international relations specialists to address 20th century topics from Brexit to the Muslim world and from French decolonization to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

If you would like to attend the seminars or to be added to our mailinglist please send an email to chirrs@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

This website uses cookies.  More information.