An ethnocracy is a type of political structure in which the state apparatus is controlled by a dominant ethnic group (or groups) to further its interests, power and resources. Ethnocratic regimes typically display a 'thin' democratic façade covering a more profound ethnic structure, in which ethnicity (race, religion, language etc) – and not citizenship – is the key to securing power and resources.
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An ethnocratic society facilitates the ethnicization of the state by the dominant group, through the expansion of control likely accompanied by conflict with minorities or neighbouring states. A theory of ethnocratic regimes was developed by critical geographer Oren Yiftachel during the 1990s and later developed by a range of international scholars.