This new book takes up the old question of why national integration across ethnic divides succeeds in some places while other countries are destabilized by ethnopolitical inequality, contentious ethnic politics, or even separatism and ethnic war. Slow moving, generational processes are highlighted that allow political alliances to cross ethnic divides: the spread of civil society organizations, linguistic assimilation, and the state’s capacity to provide public goods. These are in turn enhanced by historically achieved (pre-colonial) levels of state centralization. Empirical evidence from cross-national datasets is combined with paired case studies to support the argument. 

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