The Moral Economies of Ethnic and Nationalist Claims
288 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2017
Release Date:15 Oct 2016

The Moral Economies of Ethnic and Nationalist Claims

UBC Press

At a time when states, armed insurgent movements, and ethnic and nationalist political parties make claims based on the defence of communal interests and political and religious ideologies – with often deadly consequences – it is important to understand the discourses and actions that are used to legitimize these claims. This book argues that competing moral economies – the beliefs and practices that normatively regulate and legitimize the distribution of wealth, power, and status in a society – play an important role in ethnic and nationalist conflict.

Bringing together international experts on the politics of ethnicity and nationalism, this book investigates how moral economies have been challenged in identity-based communities in ways that precipitate or exacerbate conflicts both within and between ethnic and nationalist communities. To do so, it combines theoretical chapters with case studies ranging from Kenya and Tanzania to China, Thailand, Israel, and Canada.

While the literature on moral economy is extensive, few scholars have applied the concept to the politics of ethnicity and nationalism. Demonstrating that moral economy analysis can provide a wide range of original and powerful analyses of a variety of different cases, this book provides compelling evidence for its value in understanding and addressing problems associated with ethnic and nationalist mobilization and conflict.

Scholars and graduate students in the social sciences – particularly political science, sociology, and anthropology. It will interest those studying ethnic and nationalist politics and conflict.

Bruce J. Berman is a professor emeritus of political studies at Queen’s University and was director and principal investigator of the Ethnicity and Democratic Governance Project, 2006-12.

André Laliberté is a professor of political studies at the University of Ottawa.

Stephen J. Larin is a senior researcher with the Institute for Minority Rights at the European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC), Italy.

Contributors: Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Leslie Doucet, Oded Haklai, Lotte Hughes, Emma Hunter, Manuel Litalien, Gabrielle Lynch


Introduction: The Moral Economies of Ethnic and Nationalist Claims / Bruce J. Berman and Stephen J. Larin

1 Moral Economy, Hegemony, and Moral Ethnicity: The Cultural Politics of Modernity / Bruce J. Berman

2 Majimboism and Kenya’s Moral Economy of Ethnic Territoriality / Gabrielle Lynch

3 Rights, Wrongs, and Reciprocity: Change and Continuity among Kenyan Maasai / Lotte Hughes

4 “Economic Man in East Africa”: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Moral Economy in Tanzania / Emma Hunter

5 China: The Moral Economy of Empire / André Laliberté

6 Establishing a Buddhist Economy in Thailand: Competing Perspectives on Moral Economy in State and Society / Manuel Litalien

7 From Patron-Clientelism to Ethnonationalism: Moral Economy and Transitions in Palestinian Arab Elite Political Mobilization in Israel / Oded Haklai

8 Modernity, the Canadian State, and the Shifting Politics of Ethnocultural Claims Making / Yasmeen Abu-Laban

9 Aboriginal Identities, Moral Economies, and the Canadian Settler State / Leslie Doucet

Conclusion: Moral Economy and the Analysis of Ethnic and Nationalist Politics / André Laliberté and Stephen J. Larin


Find what you’re looking for...

Winter sale! 20% off all books using code BRRR23 at checkout.

Free shipping on online orders over $40

Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters

Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.