restricted access Ethnic Minorities and Foreign Policy

Abstract: To what extent do ethnic minority groups influence foreign policy? This question hinges on the impact of cross-border ties between ethnic groups and the extent to which a minority ethnic group can "capture" foreign policy despite opposition from the majority in both democratic and autocratic regimes. The evidence suggests that ethnicity matters, but in a limited fashion: ethnic ties can heighten diplomatic conflict, influence decisions to provide support for insurgent groups, and exacerbate international crises. Yet these ties have little impact on decisions by governments to impose economic sanctions and are far from the primary determinant of international armed conflict. Ethnicity is but one cleavage over which political mobilization might occur, and one that neither scholars nor politicians should reify.