Harris Mylonas

Harris Mylonas headshot

Harris Mylonas

Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Full-time Faculty


Harris Mylonas is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and editor-in-chief of Nationalities Papers. He is interested in the processes of nation- and state-building, migration and diaspora policies, and political development. His work contributes to our understanding of states’ management of diversity that may originate from national minorities, immigrants, diasporas, or refugees. He is particularly interested in the role of decision makers’ perceptions about foreign involvement in their domestic affairs and the impact these perceptions have on the planning and implementation of state policies. 

His first book The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities, won the 2014 European Studies Book Award by the Council for European Studies which honors the best first book on any subject in European Studies published within a two-year period and the Peter Katzenstein Book Prize for the best first book on International Relations, Comparative Politics or Political Economy in 2013. The book was also awarded an honorable mention by the Rothschild Prize in Nationalities and Ethnic Studies Committee of the Association for the Study of Nationalities in 2014. The Politics of Nation-Building identifies the conditions in which the ruling political elites of a state target unassimilated ethnic groups with assimilationist policies instead of granting them minority rights or excluding them from the state. Through a detailed study of the Balkans, Mylonas shows that how a state treats a non-core group within its own borders is determined largely by whether the state's foreign policy is revisionist or cleaves to the international status quo, and whether it is allied or in rivalry with that group's external patrons. Mylonas injects international politics into the study of nation-building, building a bridge between international relations and the comparative politics of ethnicity and nationalism. 

His book Varieties of Nationalism: Communities, Narratives, Identities (Cambridge University Press, 2023; co-authored with Maya Tudor), was published as part of the Elements Series in Political Development. He has co-edited two volumes, Enemies Within: Fifth Column Politics in Comparative Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2022; w/ Scott Radnitz) and The Microfoundations of Diaspora Politics (Routledge, 2022; w/ Alexandra Délano Alonso). He is currently working on a book project tentatively entitled Diaspora Management Logics, analyzing why some states develop policies to cultivate links with and/or to attract back certain diasporic communities while others do not.

His work has also been published in the Annual Review of Political SciencePerspectives on PoliticsComparative Political StudiesSecurity StudiesEuropean Journal of Political ResearchJournal of Ethnic and Migration StudiesTerritory, Politics, GovernanceNations and NationalismSocial Science QuarterlyNationalities PapersEthnopolitics, as well as various edited volumes.

Turning to service, Mylonas has served as Associate Dean for Research at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs during 2017-18. He has also served as a representative of the Elliott School of International Affairs to GW's Faculty Senate (2018-2023). Since 2018, he has been editor-in-chief of Nationalities Papers, a peer-reviewed journal published by Cambridge University Press for the Association for the Study of Nationalities. He is also a member of the editorial board of Diaspora Studies as well as the Journal of Modern Greek Studies. From 2019 to 2021, he served as Chair of the Council for European Studies Research Network on “Historical Study of States and Regimes" while since 2021 he is serving as an executive board member. He has also been serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Nationalities since 2011.

As part of his public engagement activity, beyond writing opinion pieces mainly for Foreign Affairs and the Washington Post's Blog the Monkey Cage, he recently gave a TedX talk @tedxfoggybottom where he described the process of nation-building through my family history. He is also producing a podcast, together with Andrew Thompson, entitled American Constitutive Stories. Their goal is to create a space where Americans from different walks of life can share their understanding of their national identity, how it relates to other identities, who they think to be American heroes, and what they see as the most promising connecting tissue of our society in the future. Finally, Mylonas has also completed a political documentary entitled, Searching for Andreas: Political Leadership in Times of Crisis. The film premiered at the 20th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, won two awards at the International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra and was also screened at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Washington, DC and the 2021 World Congress of Political Science of the International Political Science Association.

Mylonas received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University, his MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and completed his undergraduate degree at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Athens, Greece. In 2008-09 and 2011-12 academic years he was an Academy Scholar in residence at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.

Nationalism; Nation-building; Diaspora policies; European integration; Qualitative Research Methods.

Ph.D., Yale University, 2008

  • HONR 2047 - Patriotism

  • IAFF/PSC 6388 - Nationalism in Europe

  • PSC 2332 European Integration (for undergraduates)
  • PSC 2338 Nationalism (for undergraduates)
  • PSC 6362 Nation Building in the Balkans (for M.A. students)
  • PSC 8104 Qualitative Research Methods (for doctoral students)
  • PSC 8388 Nationalism and Nation-Building (for doctoral students)


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