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Lecture 7


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
R Rice

LECTURE 6: Ethnic Conflict and Peace-Building I I. Causes of Conflict II. Costs of Conflict III. Case Study: Rwanda IV. Conflict Resolution V. Tests Back! _______________________________________________________________________ _ I. Causes of Conflict Colonial Legacies: The process of European colonization set the stage for ethnic conflict in some regions. E.g. problem of geographic proximity, divide and conquer Deliberate Manipulation of Negative Stereotypes by Political Leaders: ethnic conflict is often used by leaders to mobilize group support for their own political, economic and social objectives. Competition for Scarce Resources: in poor countries each ethnic group must compete for limited government resources. Economic Modernization: economic development creates winners and losers sometimes along ethnic lines. Weak Political Institutions: the inability of political institutions to effectively manage differences ultimately result in violence. Democratic Transitions: represents a major change in the status quo. Proliferation of Weapons: the availability of weapons increases the chances for conflicts among groups to escalate into violence. II. Costs of Conflict Human (casualties) –Land Mines  26,000 deaths. $300-$1000 to remove a land mine but only $25 to buy one. Economic –brain drain –repairing infrastructure –agriculture declines –foreign investment declines Political – damages civil society Neighbouring Countries also Suffer –refugee flows 1 Ethnic Conflicts are a Major Cause of Famine –“scorched earth campaign” Ethnic Conflicts Destroy the Environment –animals are killed Ethnic Conflicts are Often Linked to the Drug Trade –creates challenges for development later on III. Case Study: Rwanda Causes of the Rwandan Genocide: landlocked country of 9 million, agricultural based, after 1994 had 6% growth rate, GNI $370 in 2007. Ethnic conflict: Tutsis 14.1% and Hutus 85%. Tutsis claimed to be the superior class. In 1962 they gained independence from Belgium. 1980s: debt crisis, Tutsis got the blame. April 6 th 1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane crashed and the Hutus thought the Tutsis shot it
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