Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India

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9780300085303: Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India
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What kinds of civic ties between different ethnic communities can contain, or even prevent, ethnic violence? This book draws on new research on Hindu-Muslim conflict in India to address this important question. Ashutosh Varshney examines three pairs of Indian cities, one city in each pair with a history of communal violence, the other with a history of relative communal harmony, to discern why violence between Hindus and Muslims occurs in some situations but not in others. His findings will be of strong interest to scholars, politicians, and policymakers of South Asia, but the implications of his study have theoretical and practical relevance for a broad range of multiethnic societies in other areas of the world as well. The book focuses on the networks of civic engagement that bring Hindu and Muslim urban communities together. Strong associational forms of civic engagement, such as integrated business organisations, trade unions, political parties, and professional associations, are able to control outbreaks of ethnic violence, Varshney shows. Vigorous and communally integrated associational life can serve as an agent of peace by restraining those, including powerful politicians, who would polarize Hindus and Muslims along communal lines.

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"A landmark synthesis. Varshney's comparison of communal violence and tranquillity in urban India is lucid, theoretically self-conscious, original, and empirically convincing. It should launch a veritable flotilla of comparable studies of civil life in its admirable wake." —James C. Scott, Yale University "Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life is an outstanding work of social science, one of the most important studies of ethnic violence to appear in many years. This book will decisively shape future scholarly research on this subject and deserves to have an important impact on public policy concerning ethnic conflict." — Samuel P. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order "Varshney's rich findings about what types of civil society organizations and activities help contain religious conflict – and which do not – open up a whole new agenda for theorists and activists alike." — Alfred Stepan, author of Arguing Comparative Politics "Varshney has taken us a long way in understanding intra-Indian variations in communal violence, and he leaves a set of unanswered questions for future research. What more can be asked from a work of social science?" —David Laitin, Stanford University "South Asia scholars and social scientists will have to read Varshney, they will cite him, and they will learn from him." —Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, University of Chicago

About the Author:

Ashutosh Varshney is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780300100136: Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India

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ISBN 10:  0300100132 ISBN 13:  9780300100136
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2003
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