Fifty Years of Ethnic Conflict and Cohesion: 1945-94

Journal article

Auriat, Nadia & Noël Bonneuil (2000) Fifty Years of Ethnic Conflict and Cohesion: 1945-94, Journal of Peace Research 37 (5): 563–581.

The diversity of conflict sequences observed among 163 ethnic groups ranging from 1945 to 1994 is portrayed in correspondence with political and socio-economic factors. This diversity comes first from the strong association between mobilization, slight discrimination, migration distress, religion and repression. On a finer detail, discrimination appears to be associated with resistance if it is related to land and power, with war if it concerns social mobility, or with insurgency if it has to do with social customs. Migration from rural to urban and abroad is accompanied by high mobilization and rioting or war when social mobility is at stake. Declining state power and democratization can open the door to violent action. Finally, there is also international diffusion of protest. Locating minority groups in this landscape of correspondence helps to compare and characterize the various particular histories. These range from Lebanon's period of war, or the years of insurgency in Iran or Somalia, to the mixture of verbal opposition and terrorism in Western democracies. Crystallizing protest in India or China is differentiated against the deterioriation of group coherence in the Middle East; sporadic bursts of violence in Africa are contrasted against insurgency and rioting in East and Southeast Asia. The results point to the need for conflict prevention policies to pay more attention to the promotion of equitable social mobility.

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