POLB91H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Osama Bin Laden, Hutu, Tutsi

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24 Apr 2013

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POLB91H3S Comparative Development in Political Perspective
Study Guide for the Final Exam
Ethnic Conflict
Little to do with ancient hatred, more complex
o Colonial legacies: European colonization set the stage for ethnic conflict. Some
formed countries based on artificial boundaries, pit ethnic groups against one
another by dubbing one of them an elite minority, disrupting the balance of
o Political mobilization: Conflict is created by leaders in order to gain support for
their own political, economic and social agenda
o Competition for scarce resources: When there is not a lot to go around, people are
forced to fight for it
o Economic modernization: Creates “winners” and “losers” sometimes along ethnic
lines. One tends to be weaker and thus loses out
o Weak political institutions: The inability of political institutions to effectively
manage differences, thus resulting in violence
o Transition to Democracy: Major change in the status quo
Consequences of Conflict:
o Huge human casualties
o Economic: “Brain drain”, the valuable educated members of society will leave the
country at the first sign of problems, reducing the country’s capacity for
development as well as agriculture, industry, foreign investment etc
o Neighbouring countries will be affected: Refugee flow increases, tension is
created in other countries
o Famine: Conflict often results in burnt crops, etc
o Destruction of environment
o Drug Trade
Conflict Resolution
Constitutional Design and Power Sharing: Institutional arrangements that divide political
power among different ethnic groups
A) Federalism The primary form of power sharing, divides power between the
central government, provinces and states
B) Consociationalism A division of political power between formerly
antagonistic groups based on limited autonomy and mutual vetoes. Designed to
protect the rights of all participants
Secession: Separation of an ethnic group in order to form a new country
Peacekeeping/Outside Intervention: Involvement of international forces in domestic
Reconcilitation: Truth commissions or war crimes trials in order to establish
accountability and rebuild social truth (ie: Dec 2008, former senior defense official from
Rwanda was convicted to life in prison
Rwandan Genocide
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Triggered in April 1994, Rwandan president (Hutu) dies, conflict breaks out between the
Tutsi and Hutu people, a huge massacre occurs, 800 000 people are killed in three weeks,
exceeding the numbers of the holocaust
o Colonial racial myths instill by the Belgians (Tutsi people have better features,
dub them the “elite” and more fit to rule)
o Deliberate manipulation of ethnic tension by governments
o Economic strife, restructuring of economy (population was based on staple cash
Internationally, three months passed and the conflict was not being called a genocide, due
to the Somalian effect in 1993.
Social Cleavages
Known as the “fault lines” of democratic party systems
They are the socio-political divisions within a society, which political parties organize
Creates political identifies and forms divisions in society that emphasize and politicize,
thus creating change
They Include:
o Class: Social distinctions that reflect the division of society according to income
and social position
o Ethnic: Party systems with an ethnic cleavage structure tend to have numerous
parties that represent particular ethnicities or languages
o Religious: Parties with religious affiliation
o Regional: The division of society along geographic lines
ie: Ecuador: highland area, coastal, etc
Religious Fundamentalism
Favours close connection between church and state
Movements of religiously inspired response to aspects of global procedures of
modernization including the struggle to assert or reassert the norms or beliefs of
traditional religion in the public order
Radical Fundamentalists: feel they are conducting a holy war against forces that are
threatening to corrupt their religious values (Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan’s Taliban
Conservative Fundamentalists: wish to shield their religion from outside influences but
do not view members of other religions as enemies
Religious Based Conflict
Because Religion involves deeply felt values, it has often been the source of domestic
Influenced by:
o The extent to which a religious community feels dominated by another
o The degree to which a religion believes that it is the one true faith and that
alternative theologies are unacceptable
State policies are key
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