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Intrastate Ethnic Conflicts and External State Support of Ethnic Minorities in East Asia: Theoretical Perspectives


  • Elena D. Soboleva

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


Most states in East Asia (Northeast and Southeast Asia) are ethnically diverse and have experienced or are currently experiencing ethnic conflict. Although, intrastate ethnic conflicts are in the domain of domestic politics, they often become “internationalized”, when an external state becomes involved. How can the difference in the behaviour of East Asian states regarding intrastate ethnic conflicts in other states of the region be explained? Scholars of international relations (IR) have come up with a variety of explanatory factors for a state’s decision whether to intervene. This paper presents an overview of the major theories and evaluates their explanatory power for IR in East Asia after the end of Cold War. The results presented in this paper lay the groundwork for the future qualitative empirical research.

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  • Elena D. Soboleva, 2015. "Intrastate Ethnic Conflicts and External State Support of Ethnic Minorities in East Asia: Theoretical Perspectives," HSE Working papers WP BRP 18/IR/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:18/ir/2015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erika Forsberg, 2008. "Polarization and Ethnic Conflict in a Widened Strategic Setting," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 45(2), pages 283-300, March.
    2. Heraclides, Alexis, 1990. "Secessionist minorities and external involvement," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(03), pages 341-378, June.
    3. Cetinyan, Rupen, 2002. "Ethnic Bargaining in the Shadow of Third-Party Intervention," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 645-677, June.
    4. Stephen M. Saideman, 2002. "Discrimination in International Relations: Analyzing External Support for Ethnic Groups," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(1), pages 27-50, January.
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    More about this item


    ethnic conflicts; intervention; East Asia; international relations; theories of international relations;

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    • Z - Other Special Topics

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