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War and ethnicity: Global connections and local violence in North East Africa and former Yugoslavia

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  • David Turton
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    Abstract

    Many of today's wars are explained (by observers) and justified (by participants) as the result of deep and ineradicable ethnic differences. But ethnic differences are not given in nature and the relationship between ethnicity and war is not a simple matter of cause and effect. Five questions are considered in the light of recent internal wars in North East Africa and former Yugoslavia. First, in what historical circumstances do ethnic differences become salient? Second, by what techniques do political leaders seek to use ethnic differences as a political resource? Third, how can we explain the special power of ethnic ideas to move people to collective acts, sometimes of horrifying brutality? Fourth, how can we explain the growing importance of local identities in a world which is also becoming more unified, politically, economically and culturally? And finally, what can politicians, aid organizations, journalists and academics do to help prevent and mitigate the terrible consequences of politicized ethnicity?

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 25 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 77-94

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:25:y:1997:i:1:p:77-94

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    Cited by:
    1. Stewart, Frances, 2006. "Policies towards Horizontal Inequalities in Post-Conflict Reconstruction," Working Paper Series RP2006/149, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Frances Stewart, . "Horizontal Inequalities: A Neglected Dimension of Development," QEH Working Papers qehwps81, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    3. Castles, Stephen & Loughna, Sean, 2003. "Trends in Asylum Migration to Industrialized Countries: 1990-2001," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Frances Stewart, . "Crisis Prevention: Tackling Horizontal Inequalities," QEH Working Papers qehwps33, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    5. Frances Stewart, 2009. "Religion versus Ethnicity as a Source of Mobilisation: Are There Differences?," Research Working Papers 18, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.

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