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POLI 244 Lecture Notes - Xenophobia

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 244
Stephen Saideman

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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
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
Ratify existing boundaries
Refrain from supporting secessionists
e.g. African boundaries
Reciprocity gone awry
Bangladesh was created by India when it wanted to separate from Pakistan
Somalia supported separatist groups in Ethiopia, and vice versa
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?
Support the side with which ties are shared
Complexity of Yugoslavia
3 sides
Who has ties to Somaliland?
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