After forced migration to a country where immigrants form an ethnic majority, why do some individuals support exclusivist and nationalist political parties while others do not? Based on extensive interviews and an original survey of 1,200 local Serbs and ethnic Serbian refugees fleeing violent conflict in Bosnia and Croatia, The Politics of Social Ties argues that those immigrants who form close interpersonal networks with others who share their experiences, such as the loss of family, friends, and home, in addition to the memory of ethnic violence from past wars, are more likely to vote for nationalist parties. Any political mobilization occurring within these interpersonal networks is not strategic, rather, individuals engage in political discussion with people who have a greater capacity for mutual empathy over the course of discussing other daily concerns. This book adds the dimension of ethnic identity to the analysis of individual political behavior, without treating ethnic groups as homogeneous social categories. It adds valuable insight to the existing literature on political behavior by emphasizing the role of social ties among individuals.
About the Author
Mila Dragojevic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Brown University. Her previous research was published in Ethnic and Racial Studies and Nationalities Papers, among other sources. Her ongoing research is driven by questions about the conditions under which cultural traits become foundations of politicized collective identities and conditions under which political violence occurs. She is currently working on a project exploring the relationship between collective memories and violence against civilians for which she received an ACA (Appalachian College Association) grant. She is also working on a collaborative project examining party patronage in post-communist democracies.