Race & ethnicity

State of the world’s minorities and indigenous peoples 2016

Minority Rights Group

While economics and politics often dominate discussions about minority and indigenous communities’ rights, culture is no less important. A right to culture is central to the enjoyment of a range of rights, from education and health to language and livelihoods. However, even in contexts where cultural rights are well established, they rely on a constant reaffirmation of ...» more

Good neighbours? Africans express high levels of tolerance for many, but not for all

Boniface Dulani, Gift Sambo, and Kim Yi Dionne

This report presents new findings on tolerance in Africa from Afrobarometer Round 6 surveys in 33 countries in 2014/2015. (The questions on tolerance were not asked in Algeria, Egypt, and Sudan because research partners deemed the question about tolerance for homosexuals too sensitive.) The survey asks respondents whether they would like, dislike, or be indifferent to having ...» more

Ethnic heterogeneity and public goods provision in Zambia: Evidence of a subnational ‘‘diversity dividend”

Rachel M. Gisselquist, Stefan Leidere and Miguel Nino-zarazua

This article challenges the ‘‘diversity debit” hypothesis that ethnic diversity has a negative impact on social, economic, and political outcomes. It argues that rather than focus on why this is the case, research should seek to explore the underlying mechanisms of such negative relationship, specifically why these relationships may differ across sub-national budgetary and ...» more

Social development and human development

Charlotte Kesl / World Bank (A school in Colombia)

This Topic Guide aims to answer the question ‘What is the interaction between social development issues and human development outcomes?’ An individual’s right to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living cannot be realised without addressing social development issues. This is because these issues determine individuals’ access to ...» more

State of the world’s minorities and indigenous peoples 2015

Minority Rights Group

In a context of rapid growth, an increasing proportion of minorities and indigenous peoples are now living in urban areas. Under the right conditions minority and indigenous communities have contributed to the growth, development and diversity of their cities. However, the concerns of minorities and indigenous peoples have yet to be mainstreamed into urban policy to the same ...» more

Social exclusion


This publication aims to introduce some of the best literature on the definitions, understandings, causes, and impact of social exclusion, as well as how exclusion can be measured and addressed by governments, civil society actors and international organisations. The guide was written by Seema Khan (GSDRC), in close collaboration with Professor Frances Stewart (Centre for ...» more

Strengthening social justice to address intersecting inequalities

Veronica Paz Arauco, Haris Gazdar, Paula Hevia-Pacheco, Naila Kabeer, Amanda Lenhardt, Syeda Quratulain Masood, Haider Naqvi, Nandini Nayak, Andrew Norton, Nidhi Sadana Sabharwal, Elisa Scalise, Andrew Shepherd, Deepak Thapa, Sukhadeo Thorat, D. Hien Tran

This report addresses the significance of deep identity based forms of exclusion, which constrain the life chances of affected social groups. It explores policies and programmes that address these intersecting inequalities in a group of countries that have made significant efforts and improvements, as a way of indicating what is possible in this difficult terrain. The report ...» more

The Economic Costs of Civil War: Synthetic Counterfactual Evidence and the Effects of Ethnic Fractionalization

Stefano Costalli, Luigi Moretti, Costantino Pischedda

There is a consensus that civil wars entail enormous economic costs, but reliable estimates are lacking, due to the endogenous relationship between violence and socio-economic conditions. This paper measures the economic consequences of civil wars with the synthetic control method, identifying appropriate counterfactuals for assessing the national-level economic impact of civil ...» more

Contemporary conflict analysis of Iraq

This paper notes that conflict in Iraq has become increasingly sectarian, and has affected minorities the most. Among its findings it highlights roots of the violence: Sunni alienation following the ‘sectarianisation’ of the political system; feelings of insecurity as a result of sectarian militias and the increasingly Shia make-up of the Iraqi Security Forces; and structural ...» more

Community-driven development and indigenous, ethnic minority, and disability issues

Few CDD programmes explicitly address minority issues. Many programmes target vulnerable groups such as women, youth, disabled, ethnic minorities, but as one group rather than distinguishing their differing needs. Few programmes are targeted specifically at vulnerable groups alone. Many programmes focus on reducing poverty and vulnerability, with the implicit assumption that ...» more

Ethnic minority public sector employment

This report identifies initiatives in developing countries which seek to attract, develop and retain indigenous or ethnic minority employees in the public sector workforce. This is supported with a brief overview of lessons learned from similar programmes in Australia, which are largely considered successful. The paper concentrates on civil service and central government ...» more

Do Ethnic Parties Exclude Women?

Stephanie S. Holmsten, Robert G. Moser, Mary C. Slosar

Do political parties that represent ethnic minorities tend to exclude women? This article examines patterns of female representation across 260 parties from 21 countries. It finds that ethnic parties – particularly those appealing to a religious minority – do tend to elect fewer women, but only under proportional representation (PR) systems that do not involve gender quotas. In ...» more

Citizens’ Perceptions of Government Responsiveness in Africa: Do Electoral Systems and Ethnic Diversity Matter?

Wonbin Cho

This paper finds that the type of electoral system used does affect people's perceptions of government responsiveness, but that this relationship depends on the country's degree of ethnic diversity. At lower levels of ethnic diversity, majoritarian electoral systems are better at boosting positive perceptions of government responsiveness. At higher levels of ethnic diversity, ...» more

Military Politics, Ethnicity and Conflict in Indonesia

Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, Sri Yanuarti, Mochamad Nurhasim

How has the changing political role of Indonesian National Army (TNI) impacted the military's ability to deal with domestic conflict? This paper examines the impact of the recent reduction of the TNI's role in politics on its ability to handle ethnic identity problems and violent conflicts. While the TNI has undergone reform since the late 1990s, it still claims a role as a ...» more

Ethnically Dominated Party Systems and the Quality of Democracy: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Robert A. Dowd, Michael Driessen

Do ethnically dominated party systems affect the quality of democracy? This Afrobarometer paper measures levels of ethnic voting and tests its relationship to the quality of democracy. The evidence suggests that the extent to which party systems in sub-Saharan Africa are ethnically dominated negatively affects certain measures of the quality of democracy. Quality of democracy ...» more

Ethnicity, Religion and the State in Ghana and Nigeria: Perceptions from the Street

Arnim Langer, Unoha Ukiwo

What can social surveys tell us about perceptions of ethnicity, religion and the state in Ghana and Nigeria? This working paper from the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) analyses survey data on how people see their own identities and their perceptions of the domination of state institutions by particular ethnic or religious groups. The ...» more

Who is Black in Brazil? A Timely or a False Question in Brazilian Race Relations in the Era of Affirmative Action?

Sales Augusto dos Santos

Who is black in Brazil? This article from Latin American Perspectives examines racial discrimination in Brazil. It argues that Brazil’s myth of racial democracy limits realistic discussion of racism and racial identity because it prevents the identification of dysfunctional race relations. The important question with regard to affirmative action is not who is black, but rather ...» more

Indigenous Inclusion/Black Exclusion: Race, Ethnicity and Multicultural Citizenship in Latin America

Juliet Hooker

Why is the landscape of citizenship so uneven across Latin America? Latin America exhibits high degrees of racial inequality and discrimination against Afro-Latinos and indigenous populations, despite constitutional and statutory measures prohibiting racial discrimination. The multicultural reforms of the 1980s and 1990s which brought many collective rights to indigenous groups ...» more

Ethnic Structure, Inequality and Governance of the Public Sector in Nigeria

Abdul Raufu Mustapha

How has ethnic mobilisation and confrontation manifested itself in multi-ethnic Nigeria? What efforts have been made to address it? This paper from the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity explores Nigeria’s contradictory processes of ethno-regional fragmentation and a centralising nation-building agenda. Ethnic mobilisation remains resilient in the ...» more

Gender, Caste and Ethnic Exclusion in Nepal: Following the Policy Process from Analysis to Action

L Bennett

Gender, caste and ethnicity-based social exclusion is deeply embedded in Nepalese society. This draft paper, presented at the World Bank Conference on New Frontiers in Social Policy, examines the joint policy reform initiative of the World Bank and DFID to address the persistent legacy of caste, ethnic and gender-based exclusion in Nepal. In order to move from policy-level ...» more