Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Political Science

First Advisor

Hesli, Vicki L

First Committee Member

Reisinger, William M

Second Committee Member

Mitchell, Sara

Third Committee Member

Dion, Douglas

Fourth Committee Member

Valentino, Russell S


What factors motivate members of minority groups to vote based on an ethnic attachment? What motivates candidates and political parties to make appeals to specific ethnic groups? I argue that ethnic voting is more likely to emerge when individual socialization experiences and dissatisfaction increase the salience of ethnic identity, contextual factors serve to politicize this salient identity, and the mobilization potential of the ethnic group is high, making it more likely that an ethnic-based appeal will be successful. I test this theory with a combination of regional-level large-N statistical comparisons, case studies, and individual-level survey data.

I primarily examine party voting in the Baltic Republics and Ukraine. In these systems, I contend, ethnic voting may manifest support for traditional ethnic parties but also support for more mainstream but ethnically inclusive parties. These inclusive parties, generally overlooked in the ethnic politics literature, are an important component of ethnic representation and an important addition to research on ethnic voting. While in this work I focus on the Russian minority in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the general theory I develop may be applied to ethnic minorities in other political environments.


Baltic states, Ethnic, Ethnicity, Russian-speakers, Russians, Voting


xi, 279 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 260-279).


Copyright 2009 Holley E Hansen