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Ethnic Conflict.pdf

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 244
Stephen Saideman

Some Facts There is less ethnic conflicts in today's world than 50 years ago Like crime Just because it's more present in the media Vulnerability Mutual self-interest Many states vulnerable to ethnic conflict do not act in other ethnic conflicts Especially in Africa Boundaries bound by European countries for convenience But throwing away these boundaries would be costly to everyone Reciprocity Ratify existing boundaries Refrain from supporting secessionists e.g. African boundaries Reciprocity gone awry India/Pakistan Bangladesh was created by India when it wanted to separate from Pakistan Somalia/Ethiopia Somalia supported separatist groups in Ethiopia, and vice versa Realism Séparer pour mieux gérer Support separatist groups in other countries to weaken adversaries e.g. Creation of Bangladesh insured India that there was no adversary anymore on their east boundaries Supporting secessionism is the weapon of the weak It's easy Coercive bargaining Supporting rebels in another country is just another way to cause pain e.g. Iraq supported the Kurds in Iran, and Iran supported the Kurds in Iraq; no one really cared about the Kurds though Just a tool for both sides to bargain Separatist groups are just tools for coercive bargaining Ethnic Ties Domestic politics drives decisions Politicians have to look at their population and get the greatest amount of supporters Who does one identify with/against? Racial Religious Linguistic etc. Support the side with which ties are
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