By Monica Duffy Toft
The Geography of Ethnic Violence is the 1st between a number of exclusive books on ethnic violence to explain the very important position of territory in explaining such clash. Monica Toft introduces and exams a concept of ethnic violence, person who presents a compelling common rationalization of not just so much ethnic violence, civil wars, and terrorism yet many interstate wars in addition. This knowing can foster new coverage projects with actual capability to make ethnic violence both much less most likely or much less damaging. it will possibly additionally consultant policymakers to ideas that endure.
The ebook deals a distinctively robust synthesis of comparative politics and diplomacy theories, in addition to a extraordinary mix of statistical and old case learn methodologies. through skillfully combining a statistical research of a giant variety of ethnic conflicts with a targeted comparability of ancient situations of ethnic violence and nonviolence--including 4 significant conflicts within the former Soviet Union--it achieves an extraordinary stability of normal applicability and deep insight.
Toft concludes that basically by way of realizing how legitimacy and gear have interaction do we desire to profit why a few ethnic conflicts flip violent whereas others don't. focused teams protecting a self-defined place of origin frequently struggle to the dying, whereas dispersed or urbanized teams virtually by no means danger violence to redress their grievances. truly written and carefully documented, this e-book represents an important contribution to an ongoing debate that spans various disciplines together with diplomacy, comparative politics, sociology, and history.
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Extra resources for The Geography of Ethnic Violence: Identity, Interests, and the Indivisibility of Territory
But when does ethnic war actually break out? In the next section I explain when states are likely to resist an ethnic group’s demand for sovereignty, thus causing a war. The State and Its Territorial Integrity States will regard territory as indivisible when they believe that allowing one ethnic group to gain territorial sovereignty will set a precedent that encourages other ethnic groups to demand self-rule. In this section, I explain (1) why multinational states are the only type of states that worry about precedent setting; (2) how precedent setting influences political leaders in multinational states; (3) why precedent setting explains state intransigence better than arguments on the economic or strategic value of territory; and (4) why it may provoke multinational states to oppose dissatisfied ethnic groups quickly and violently.
To mobilize support for the cause, each side has to make the case that its cause is legitimate. This is simpler in some cases than in others. I have highlighted two principles of legitimacy that might be invoked: majority rule and homeland. I have argued that the majority-rule principle is the most powerful in that it both enhances a group’s capacity to fight and gains credence from being one of the core tenets of democratic rule. The homeland principle is also quite powerful in legitimating claims over who is the rightful owner of a given territory.
This logic might be better explained by way of an example. 19 The Tamils constitute roughly 11 percent of the Sri Lankan population of about 18 million, but they are about 65 percent of the population of Eelam. The Sinhalese, although a majority constituting 74 percent of the population of Sri Lanka, imagine themselves as a minority. This is because they see the Sri Lankan Tamils as one part of a greater Tamil nation, combining the approximately 1 million Indian Tamils within Sri Lanka and an additional 60 million across the strait in 22 CHAPTER 2 20 the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.