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John Stuart Mill: “Free Institutions Are Next To Impossible In A Country Made Up Of Different Nationalities.”

Oliver Plunkett

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The study of multiethnic societies that seems to be most cited by other scholars is Donald L. Horowitz’s impressive Ethnic Groups in Conflict, published in 1985. The product of an exhaustive effort to synthesize and generalize a massive amount of material, Horowitz’s 700-page work opened up a field that previously had been a kind of academic backwater. In the postwar world most American political scientists viewed ethnicity as a kind of atavism, which would eventually fade in importance. There was something of a Marxist coloration to this. Marx assumed that class interests were the “real ones.” And Third World anti-colonial movements had often managed, if temporarily, to submerge ethnic divisions during the struggle for independence. The mainstream of American political science viewed politics as a process in which one sought power to get certain things or results. It was not until the 1970s or later that scholarship caught up with the reality that ethnicity was not fading away and indeed seemed to be rising in importance.
 
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