Erin Kristin Jenne

Vigyazo Ferenc u. 2
+36 1 327 3000 x2168

On leave for the AY 2015-2016

Erin K. Jenne is professor at the  Department of International Relations  at Central European University in Budapest, where she teaches MA and PhD courses on qualitative and quantitative methods, ethnic conflict management, international relations theory, nationalism and civil war, and international security. Jenne received her PhD in political science from Stanford University with concentrations in comparative politics, international relations, conflict processes, and East European politics. She has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a MacArthur fellowship at Stanford University, a Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) fellowship at Harvard University, a Carnegie Corporation scholarship, and a Fernand Braudel fellowship at European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. Her recent book, Ethnic Bargaining: The Paradox of Minority Empowerment (Cornell University Press, 2007) is the winner of Mershon Center’s Edgar S. Furniss Book Award in 2007 and was also named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine. The book is based on her dissertation, which won the Seymour Martin Lipset Award for Best Comparativist Dissertation in 2001. She has published numerous book chapters and articles in International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, Regional and Federal Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Civil Wars, and Ethnopolitics (forthcoming). She is an associate editor for Foreign Policy Analysis and has served in several capacities on the Emigration, Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Section of the International Studies Association and the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.


Nested Security: Lessons in Cooperative Conflict Management From the League of Nations and the European Union (Cornell University Press, 2015). 

Why does soft power conflict management meet with variable success over the course of a single mediation? This book argues that international conflict management is almost never a straightforward case of success or failure. Instead, external mediators may reduce communal tensions at one point but utterly fail to do so at another point, even if the incentives for conflict on the ground remain unchanged. I present a “nested security” model of conflict management: protracted ethnic or ideological conflicts are rarely internal affairs, but rather are embedded in wider regional and/or great power disputes. Internal conflict is nested within a regional environment, which in turn is nested in a global environment. The book argues that regional security regimes are ideally suited to the management of internal conflicts, because neighbors that have a strong incentive to work for stability provide critical hard-power backing to soft-power missions, and further that effective conflict management requires addressing conflict processes from the outside-in. I test this theory against two regional security regimes in Central and Eastern Europe:  the interwar minorities regime under the League of Nations (German minorities in central Europe, Hungarian minorities in the Carpathian Basin, and disputes over the Aland Islands, Memel, and Danzig), and the ad hoc security regime of the post–Cold War period (focusing on Russian-speaking minorities in the Baltic states and Albanian minorities in Montenegro, Macedonia, and northern Kosovo). 

Ethnic Bargaining: The Paradox of Minority Empowerment (Cornell University Press, 2007)

This book introduces a theory of minority politics that blends comparative analysis and field research in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe with insights from rational choice. I find that claims by ethnic minorities have become more frequent since 1945 even though nation-states have been on the whole more responsive to groups than in earlier periods. Minorities that perceive an increase in their bargaining power will tend to radicalize their demands from affirmative action to regional autonomy to secession, in an effort to attract ever greater concessions from the central government. The language of self-determination and minority rights originally adopted by the Great Powers to redraw boundaries after World War I was later used to facilitate the process of decolonization. During the 1960s, various ethnic minorities began to use the same discourse to pressure national governments into transfer payments and power-sharing arrangements. Violence against minorities was actually in some cases fueled by this politicization of ethnic difference. I use a rationalist theory of bargaining to examine the dynamics of ethnic cleavage in the cases of the Sudeten Germans in interwar Czechoslovakia; Slovaks and Moravians in postcommunist Czechoslovakia; the Hungarians in Romania, Slovakia, and Vojvodina; and the Albanians in Kosovo. Throughout, I challenge the conventional wisdom that partisan intervention is an effective mechanism for protecting minorities and preventing or resolving internal conflict.


  • (with Robert Jervis, Gregory Mitrovic, and Victoria Hui)  2014-2017 project funded by the MINERVA Initiative, Office of Naval Research, Department of Defense, United States Government. This project examines how the rising power of China of today and the United States over a century ago used “culture” to advance their security interests and establish a position of global leadership. The project employs qualitative case studies and quantitative analysis of archival, conflict and communications databases to test for the impact of cultural diplomacy by both an earlier era of American leadership and Chinese leadership today. For the Chinese portion of the project, I oversee a series a computer-aided text analyses (CATA) of data that measure reactions to Chinese cultural products in countries throughout the developed world. From official government pronouncements, news reports, declassified diplomatic papers, news articles, blogs, and social media sites, we are compiling a number of datasets that will enable us to analyze the global impact of Chinese cultural diplomacy associated with the rising power's ascent.
  • (with Harris Mylonas, David Siroky and Stefan Wolff) Multi-year research project of great power military interventions into regime conflicts (sub-state conflicts over the nature and shape of state institutions, e.g., Arab Spring conflicts).  The project will investigate when great powers intervene in such conflicts and how, which side do they choose, when do they sometimes switch sides, and when do they exit the conflict.  
  • (with Harris Mylonas) This project compares the effects of U.S. intervention in Serbia in the 1990s/2000s with U.S. covert intervention in China in the 1950s.
  • (with Stephen M. Saideman and Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham) Large-N data analysis of diaspora segments in democratic countries (beginning with the United States). Central research questions include: (1) the conditions under which diaspora segments mobilize politically in their host countries, and (2), the impact these diaspora segments have on civil conflicts in their homeland.


PhD, Stanford University

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