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Political Science T1 L4 Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.doc

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Brock University
Political Science
Paul Hamilton

Nationalism and Ethnic Politics - 90% of existing states are multi-national - Nationalism is rivalled only by Marxism as one of the most important doctrines of the modern era Nation-State - Relatively rare case of conterminous political and cultural boundaries - This is rare because state boundaries rarely conform to messy ethnic distribution - Fewer than 10% of states can be described as nation states Example: Iceland – everyone keeps to himself or herself, not many visitors not much travel outside boundaries Multinational States - Most states on earth - More than one national community which has a national consciousness and an attachment to a territory - Not Diaspora, communities who may dream of return (Palestinians, Cubans, etc) - The general rule (90% of states) - Canada, UK, Spain, Russia, Iraq, South Africa… - Problem: How do states deal with ethnic diversity and nationalism? - Most contemporary conflict within states rather than between states Ethnic Conflict - May occur because of inequality (relative deprivation) - Irreconcilable customs - Demographic imbalance - Discrimination Managing Ethnic Pluralism - Genocide - Forced assimilation - Federalism - Multiculturalism - Secession - 1945-1991: 258 cases of ethnic conflict Darfur - Conflict between Arab government and African farmers (the Fur, among others) - Journal Science estimates 200 000 dead and 4 million refugees - Consequences of drought, environmental stress, refugee movements,
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