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Ethnic conflicts

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by

Simon Poirier

on 11 March 2015

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Transcript of Ethnic conflicts

Why ethnic conflicts are more prone to violence?
Ethnic conflicts
Ethnic conflict is impossible without pluralism
It is not necessarily function of numbers

Conflicts include multiple types of confrontation
Most ethnic relationships are peaceful
Competition for resources is common
Political, economy, education, culture
Collective identities
Ethnic awareness is a form of collective identity (and people have multiple identities)
Contextual or accidental attributes
Context-dependent
Mutability of attributes
Fixed in time or hard to change
Skin color, scars, height, etc.
Acquired closer to birth
Malleable or invisible
Language, religion, caste, etc.
Pervasiveness of ethnicity in societies
In societies where ethnicity is activated, every other conflict can be seen through the lens of ethnicity
Elections and ethnic political parties
Cultural and economic policies
Ethnicity often strains the bond that sustain civility between people
Groups in conflict
Importance of ethnic markers' visibility
Persecuted group will attempt to pass as members of another group
Sense of 'peoplehood' can be fluid
Ascription makes inter-ethnic compromise difficult between ethnic units
Common provenance
Recruitment through kinship
Notion of distinctiveness


How to limit ethnic conflicts?
Difficult to come up with a general theory of peaceful ethnic relationships, cases vary greatly
Different geographical distribution
Different ratios
Different historical legacy
Politics cannot be reduced to ethnic ties
Ethnic conflicts
Conflicts leading to colonialism
Conflicts to end colonialism
Conflicts for self-determination
Independence movements, etc.
Spread of ideological concepts like equality makes subordination unacceptable
Full transcript