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Conference Brief

Our conference focuses on global variations in the design, application and impacts of ethnic quota and non-quota measures of political representation. It looks at formal and informal mechanisms of ethnic inclusion, and at outcomes for targeted groups, ethnic peace and democracy. Papers address different spatial and jurisdictional levels, in peaceful and ethnically divided countries, and in democratic and non-democratic contexts.

Panel sessions cover topics including: Theoretical and Methodological Challenges of Comparing Ethnic and Indigenous Representation; Reserved Seats and Formal Quotas; Ethnic Gerrymandering; Consociational and Centripetal Settings for Ethnic Inclusion; Ethnic and Indigenous Representation via Federalism and Multi-level Governance; The Role of Political Parties in Ethnic Representation; and Global Comparisons of Institutional Designs for Ethnic Representation.  

Our conference brings together scholars and practitioners with wide ranging regional expertise and extensive knowledge of these issues in such countries/regions as Lebanon and the Middle East, India, South Africa, Croatia, Serbia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore and Pacific Asia, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Latin America, the US and Canada. It will also provide an important training opportunity for graduate students and junior scholars in this area of research.

Download the conference program here.


Our conference has four interrelated goals: 

  1. To facilitate analysis and deepen our understanding of a wide range of 'group representation' arrangements for ethnic minority and indigenous groups that are being applied in Canada and worldwide; and to comparatively assess their impacts in terms of ethnic peace, democratic performance, and substantive fairness. 
  2. To help establish a long-term collaboration between Canadian and international scholars working in this area. 
  3. In collaboration with practitioners, to advance concrete guidance on best practices for ensuring that ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples are effectively represented in policymaking institutions.
  4. To provide methodological training opportunities for graduate students and junior scholars.  

Instructions for Participants

Paper presenters are encouraged to draw from comparative electoral systems, ethnic electoral politics, and theories of representation literature to explicate the design and consequences of ethnic/indigenous quotas and non-quota mechanisms in a wide range of countries, with different histories of inter-ethnic relations and colonialism, across varied regimes and cases.

Paper Submission & Deadlines

Please send your conference paper to Cassandra Preece and your respective chair and discussant no later than 23 Nov 2018.

To facilitate this process, we ask that each paper to not exceed the standard 8,000-word limit (including footnotes). We would be grateful if you would indicate in your email to Cassandra whether you would like your paper to be considered for publication.

Panel Presentation Guidelines

The format for each panel should be structured as follows:

  • 3 minutes introduction by Chair
  • 15 minutes for each paper-giver
  • 15 minutes for the Discussant to offer comments
  • 15 minutes general Q & A

A projector will be available. Please bring your presentation on a USB key and load onto the computer prior to your panel session.

Please refer to the Preliminary Program to see your assignment as Chair or Discussant.

Methods Modules

A series of hands-on training modules focusing on “Methodological Innovations and New Datasets for Assessing Indigenous and Ethnic Group Representation” will be presented during the afternoon of Friday, 7 Dec 2018. All conference participants are welcome to attend and participate.

Anyone who is not already confirmed as a conference participant, who would like to attend any of these modules, please click here to sign up for the modules.

Attendee Resources

Download the visitor guide to see how best to prepare for our upcoming conference, including transportation, accommodations, tourist information and more.


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