Ethnic Conflict: A Global Perspective

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9780192805881: Ethnic Conflict: A Global Perspective
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Why is it that Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland have been in perpetual conflict for thirty years when they can live and prosper together elsewhere? Why was there a bloody civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina when Croats, Serbs, and Muslims had lived peacefully side-by-side for decades? Why did nobody see and act upon the early warning signs of genocide in Rwanda that eventually killed close to a million people in a matter of weeks? What is it that makes Kashmir potentially worth a nuclear war between India and Pakistan?
In Ethnic Conflict, Stefan Wolff draws upon eye witness testimonies, reports by Human Rights organizations, theories of conflict and conflict management, and his own long experience in working to resolve ethnic conflict to offer compelling answers to these questions. In recent years hardly a day has gone by when ethnic conflict in some part of the world has not made headline news. The violence involved in these conflicts continues to destabilize entire regions, hamper social and economic development, and cause unimaginable human suffering. Wolff goes beyond superficial media coverage of these crises to illuminate the broad similarities between ethnic conflicts around the world and to engage the fundamental question underlying them all: why do nationalism and ethnicity still have such terrible power to turn neighbor against neighbor? Wolff also explores the crucial-and growing-links between ethnic conflict and other security challenges, such as terrorism and organized crime.
No issue is more pressing in the world today than the ongoing and seemingly intractable tragedy of ethnic conflict. Stefan Wolff's new book sheds vitally important new light on both the causes and the potential solutions to one of humanity's darkest behaviors.

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Why does ethnic conflict remain one of the major security challenges in today’s world? Can we avoid another Rwanda in the future? How was it possible, after almost four decades, to achieve a lasting settlement for the conflict in Northern Ireland, while the conflict in Kashmir remains unresolved after more than sixty years?

These and other questions are the focus of this book. Investigating the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict, the authors argue that the most effective responses are those that take into account factors at the local, state, regional and global level and which avoid seeking simplistic explanations and solutions to what is a truly complex phenomenon. What matters most for understanding ethnic conflicts are the choices that people make—leaders and followers alike—and not a set of mysterious unknowable forces.

Once we know that ethnic conflicts are not difficult to understand, but that there is a lot to understand about them, we can also appreciate that they are not impossible to resolve. However, it takes skilful, committed and principled leaders to achieve just solutions that are supported by their followers, and it takes the long-term commitment of the international community to enable and sustain these solutions.

About the Author:


Stefan Wolff is Professor of Political Science at the University of Nottingham , Visiting Professorial Lecturer at SAIS Bologna Center, and Senior Non-resident Research Associate at the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg, Germany. He editor of the journal Ethnopolitics and and the author of Disputed Territories: The Transnational Dynamics of Ethnic Conflict, The German Question, and other books.

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9780745639314: Ethnic Conflict: Causes, Consequences, and Responses

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ISBN 10:  0745639313 ISBN 13:  9780745639314
Publisher: Polity, 2010
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9780745639307: Ethnic Conflict: Causes, Consequences, and Responses

Polity, 2010
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9780192805874: Ethnic Conflict: A Global Perspective

Oxford..., 2006
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