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Approaches to dealing with Nationalism & Ethnicity

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Presentation on theme: "Approaches to dealing with Nationalism & Ethnicity"— Presentation transcript:

1 Approaches to dealing with Nationalism & Ethnicity
Religion, Nationalism, and Conflicting Identities Religion Nations, Ethnic Groups, and States Approaches to dealing with Nationalism & Ethnicity Social and Economic Approaches to Intercommunal Peace

2 The Wars of the World Largest contemporary wars
Iraq Western Sudan (Darfur) Afghanistan Of the 11 wars, all but Chechnya (Russia) are in the global South. All but Colombia are in a zone of active fighting spanning parts of Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. Most peace agreements in the world’s postwar zones are holding up.


4 Conflicts of Ideas Six types of international conflict:
Ethnic Religious Ideological Territorial Governmental Economic Most difficult types of conflict have intangible elements such as ethnic hatred, religious fervor, or ideology – all conflicts of ideas These identity-based sources of international conflict today have been shaped historically by nationalism – link between identity and internationally recognized statehood

5 Nationalism Devotion to the interests of one’s own nation over others
May be the most important force in world politics in the past two centuries Nationality is a difficult concept to define precisely. Historical development of “nationalism” Principle of self-determination

6 Ethnic Conflict Quite possibly the most important source of conflict in the numerous wars now occurring throughout the world. Ethnic groups Large groups of people who share ancestral, language, cultural, or religious ties and a common identity Often form the basis for nationalist sentiments Territorial control

7 Ethnic Conflict Lack of a home state Redrawing of borders by force
Kurds Redrawing of borders by force Outside states worry about the fate of “their people.” Albania Genocide Systematic extermination of ethnic or religious groups in whole or in part Sudan Rwanda Causes of ethnic hostility Longstanding historical conflicts over specific territories or natural resources, or exploitation or political domination of another Ethnocentrism Dehumanization Global identity in the future?

8 Kurdish National Area

9 Religious Conflict Because religion is the core of a community’s value system in much of the world, people whose religious practices differ are easily disdained and treated as unworthy or even inhuman. Fundamentalist movements Secular political organizations Islamist movements Armed Islamist groups Afghanistan Pakistan Saudi Arabia Palestine Sudan Algeria Chechnya

10 Causes of War The question of why war breaks out can be approached in different ways. Descriptive approaches Theoretical approaches Broad generalizations about the causes of war have been elusive. Wars do not have a single or simple cause. Levels of analysis can help us organize theories of war.

11 Causes of War On the individual level of analysis, theories about war center on rationality. One theory, consistent with realism, holds that the use of war and other violent means of leverage in international conflicts is normal and reflects rational decisions of national leaders: that “wars begin with conscious and reasoned decisions based on the calculation, made by both parties, that they can achieve more by going to war than by remaining at peace.” An opposite theory that conflicts often escalate to war because of deviations from rationality in the individual decision-making processes of national leaders. Neither theory holds up well.

12 Causes of War The domestic level of analysis draws attention to the characteristics of states or societies that may make them more or less prone to use violence in resolving conflicts.

13 Causes of War Theories at the interstate level explain wars in terms of power relations among actors in the international system. Power transition theory holds that conflicts generate large wars at times when power is relatively equally distributed and a rising power is threatening to overtake a declining hegemon in overall position. Deterrence – stop wars by building up power and threatening its use Theory of arms race – wars are caused, not prevented by such actions No general formula has been discovered to tell us in what circumstances each of these principles holds true.

14 Causes of War At the global level of analysis, a number of theories of war have been proposed. Several variations on the idea that major warfare in the international system is cyclical. One approach links wars with long economic waves in the world economy (~50 years) Another approach links the largest wars with a 100-year cycle based on the creation and decay of world orders. These cycle theories at best can explain only general tendencies toward war in the international system. Theory of linear long-term change: war as an outcome of conflict is becoming less likely over time due to the worldwide development of both technology and international norms.



17 Ideological Conflict Ideology symbolizes and intensifies conflicts between groups and states more than it causes them. Because they have a somewhat weaker hold on core values and absolute truth than religions do, they pose somewhat fewer problems for the international system. China Maoist communism in 1949; Russia’s Leninist communism in 1917, U.S. democracy in 1776 Angola


19 Conflicts of Interest Territorial disputes
Means of controlling territory – primarily military Secession – province or region leaving an existing state Ethnic cleansing - driving out or massacre of designated ethnic population Interstate borders Role of the norm of territorial integrity Lingering disputes – Israeli borders; Kashmir; Peru & Ecuador; Spratly Islands Territorial waters – part of national territory Airspace


21 Control of Governments
Most struggles to control territory do not involve changing borders. They are conflicts over which governments will control entire states. International conflicts over the control of governments – along with territorial disputes – are likely to lead to the use of violence.

22 Economic Conflict Economic competition is the most pervasive form of conflict in international relations because economic transactions are pervasive. Such transactions contain a strong element of mutual economic gain. Usually do not lead to military force and war But this was not always the case historically

23 Economic Conflict Economic conflict seldom leads to violence today because military forms of leverage are no longer very effective in economic conflicts. Mercantilism Lateral pressure Drug trafficking

24 Glossary List: Binational state Confederation Multinational states
Nation-states National self-determination Neocolonialism Tribalism

25 Review – How much do you understand?
The world is conventionally divided into all of these categories except?    nation-states   multinational states   ethnic groups   nations C

26 Review– How much do you understand?
Which of the following is the best example of a non-state nation?    the Kurds  Switzerland Yugoslavia Muslims B

27 Review– How much do you understand?
Which of the following is the best example of a multinational state?    Canada  Czech Republic Switzerland  Belgium C

28 Review– How much do you understand?
Another term for a state in which all political power and authority rests in the institutions of the central government is   unitary state. communism. totalitarianism. dictatorship. A

29 Review– How much do you understand?
Nationalism is?    the same as ethnicity. patriotism. a basis for national mobilization. Inherently dangerous. C

30 Review– How much do you understand?
Approximately what percent of the world’s population is Christian?    34% 20%  16% 5% A

31 Review– How much do you understand?
Which is the single largest religious identity in the world?    Roman Catholics Protestants Muslims Hindus C, with about 20% of the world population (one in five).

32 Review– How much do you understand?
At the start of the 21st century, there has seen a general global resurgence of   nation-states. religious ideas and movements. ethnic genocide.  apartheid. B

33 Review– How much do you understand?
Nations without a state include    Kurds. Palestinians. Slavs. both A and B. all of the above. D

34 Review– How much do you understand?
The boundaries of states in Africa were determined by    tribal and ethnic identities. national identities. other local identities. European colonial powers. D

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