1- Construction of an original nation-building dataset (NBP)

We assemble a global dataset that codes nation-building strategies from 1945 to 2020 across different countries, time periods, and ethnic groups. How states regulate diversity within their boundaries often differs dramatically by ethnic group. For that, the NBP dataset collects information at both country and group level.

The dataset draws on a variety of different policy fields to identify variation in nation-building: education policies, affirmative action policies, citizenship and nationality laws, regulations concerning language use and religious practices in public, constitutional rights, and patterns of state-sponsored violence and demographic engineering.

2- Statistical analysis

Once the dataset is completed, we pursue a global statistical analysis across different time periods, world regions, states and ethnic groups. Data patterns allow us to identify different pathways of nation-building and incorporate them into a revised nation-building typology. We will also test our hypotheses on the causes and consequences of different nation-building strategies and what they imply for identity and developmental outcomes.

3- Combining statistical analysis with comparative case studies

We back the data derived from statistical analysis with comparative case studies. To that end we use both data-driven cases and a set of core cases from major world regions that accompany and guide us throughout the project. These case studies are employed to illustrate and complement specific cases but we also use them for theory testing and generating purposes in order to tease out the mechanisms underpinning statistical associations and further develop our own theoretical framework.