e-ISSN: 2671-3659
p-ISSN: 2671-3675
Founded: 2021
Period: Biannually
Publisher: Balkan Studies Foundation


What Matters – Size, Membership or Mobilization? Analyzing the Factors that Contribute to the Success or Failure of Ethnic Minority Parties – A Comparative Case Study of Albania and Bulgaria

Joana Treneska Phd Student, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg Author 0000-0002-3449-1990




The aim of this article is to examine which factors contribute towards the success or its lack of an ethnic minority political party. With a comparative case study of two countries - Albania and Bulgaria, and by implementing the most similar case design (Mill’s method of difference), we test two hypotheses. Mainly, the focus is on EU membership and the size and mobilization practices of the ethnic minority i.e. whether these factors where the countries differ, have determined the position of the ethnic minority parties within the respective countries. The results defy the commonly applied theory that the institutional arrangement of the political and electoral system determines the likelihood of success for each political party, including the political parties of the ethnic minorities. In the case of the ethnic Greek parties in Albania, the constitutional ban took a toll on their success rates, while the party of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria managed to surpass it. The differing outcomes of the ethnic minority parties in both countries where the institutional arrangement is similar, calls for further research on potential intervening and antecedent variables, such as the international position of the country in question, the size of the ethnic minority, and the mobilization capacities of the party which represents them.


Albania, Bulgaria, Ethnicity, Minority, Parties


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