Journal article written by 2007 DPDF Rethinking Europe: Religion, Ethnicity, Nation co-director Rogers Brubaker in Ethnic and Racial Studies.
The ‘comparative analytic of ethnic forms’ developed in Andreas Wimmer’s Ethnic Boundary Making makes a major contribution towards specifying why ethnicity matters to different degrees and in different ways in differing social and historical contexts. My comment raises two issues for discussion. I question whether nationhood can be fully subsumed under the overarching rubric of ethnicity. And I suggest that there may be a certain cost to stretching the undeniably fruitful boundary metaphor too far. I conclude by noting that the processes analysed in the book are in no way specific to ethnicity, and that the book points beyond ethnicity to a broader theory of the making and unmaking of groups.