Gurr, Ted Robert. “Ethnic Warfare on the Wane. Foreign Affairs May/June 2000. JSTOR
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Ethnic Warfare on the Wane – Study Guide
Threats to divide a country should be managed by the devolution of state power and that
communal fighting about access to the state’s power and resources should be restrained by
recognizing group rights and sharing power.
The first and most basic principle of this emerging regime is recognizing and actively protecting
minority peoples' rights.
Corollary is the right of national peoples to exercise some autonomy within existing states.
Creating autonomy within the state for minorities is harder than simply banning discrimination:
•Most governing elites want to hold on to central authority
•Many fear that autonomy will lead to outright secession
•negotiating arrangements that satisfy parties and address each situation's unique quirks is
In most recent wars of self-determination, - fighting usually began with demands for complete
independence and ended with negotiated or de facto autonomy within the state.
Protecting collective rights is one of the three elements of the new preferred strategy for
managing ethnic heterogeneity. Democracy is another; it provides the institutional means
whereby minorities in most societies secure their rights and pursue their collective interests. third
element of this new regime is the principle that disputes over self-determination are best settled
by negotiation and mutual accommodation.
Four regional and global forces reinforce the trend toward accommodation in mixed societies:
•First is the active promotion of democratic institutions and practices by the Atlantic
•second buttressing factor is engagement by the U.N., regional bodies, and interested
nongovernmental organizations on behalf of minority rights.
•Third is the virtually universal consensus among the international political class - the
global foreign policy elite - in favor of reestablishing and maintaining global and regional
•Finally, the costs of ethnic conflict have become evident to both governing elites and
Objectively, there are substantially fewer such conflicts now than in the early 1990s. But they
now get more public attention-precisely because they challenge the emerging norms that favor
group rights and the peaceful accommodation of ethnic conflicts. (threatens the comforting
assumption that the "international community" can guarantee local and regional security.)
Repression without accommodation regularly leads to renewed resistance and rebellion,
Factors that predict ethnic warfare: a legacy of repressive rule, the emergence of militant ethnic
nationalist groups, and a lack of international engagement.
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