Karlo Basta

Associate Professor

SN 2038
Department of Political Science, Science Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 Canada

Telephone: (709) 864-8182
Email: kbasta[at]mun[dot]ca


BA (York); MA, PhD (University of Toronto)

Areas for Student Research Supervision

  • Identity politics (nationalism, ethnopolitics)
  • Institutional design and change
  • Federalism and multi-level governance
  • West and East European politics
  • Canadian politics
  • Democratization

Examples of Recent Courses Taught

2300 Introduction to Comparative Politics
3300 European Politics
6300 Comparative Politics Graduate Seminar


Dr. Basta's research examines how nationalism, institutional change, and political economy combine to shape multinational states. While exploring the impact of power-sharing and power-dividing institutions on the stability of multinational states is important, specific institutional recipes are always limited by their political feasibility. Consequently, the primary focus of his work is on the logically prior question of institutional development. Dr. Basta is currently completing a book manuscript titled The Ethnofederal Dilemma: Reconciling Decentrationalization and Economic Governance. Other research includes: a project on the reconceptualization of political events; research on the temporal structure of federal reforms; and a comparative study of secession referenda. In 2016, he was a Federal Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism, EURAC (Italy).

Selected Publications


Co-editor (with John McGarry and Richard Simeon). Territorial Pluralism: Managing Difference in Multinational States (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015).

Refereed Articles

"The Social Construction of Transformative Political Events," forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies.

"The State between Minority and Majority Nationalism: Decentralization, Symbolic Recognition, and Secessionist Crises in Spain and Canada," forthcoming in Publius: The Journal of Federalism.

"Imagined Institutions: The Symbolic Power of Formal Rules in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Slavic Review, Vol 75, No. 4 (2016); pp. 944-969.

With Lenka Bustikova "Concession and Secession: Constitutional
Bargaining Failure in Post-Communist Czechoslovakia," Swiss Political
Science Review, Vol. 22, No. 4 (2016); pp. 470-490 (Special issue edited
by Michael Hechter, Sean Mueller, and David Siroky).

“Bosnia is (Not) Like Yugoslavia: The Structure of Grievances and Self-determination Claims in Multinational States.” Politička Misao (Croatian Political Science Review), Vol. 52, No. 1 (2015); pp. 164-190; in Croatian.

“The State as a Symbol or a Means to an End: Internal Border Changes in Multinational Federations.” Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 20, No. 3 (2014), pp. 459-480.

“Non-Ethnic Sources of Ethnofederal Institutions: The Case of Yugoslavia.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2010), pp. 92-110.


Department of Political Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000