Section 001 - Term 1 - Th 14:00 – 17:00, Buch C478
Instructor: Diane Mauzy
Ethnic conflict and the management of ethnic divisions have become a major political concern in the post-Cold War era of global economic and technological transformation. The new power alignments and globalization have led to a retreat, in some quarters, from the insecurities introduced by the processes into the security of ethnicity, traditionalism, fundamentalism or other “deglobalizing” reactions. Benjamin Barber has described two trends which are pulling in opposite directions--those advocating the global system (or “McWorld”) versus groups within borders seeking smaller worlds and a return to cultural traditions (which he labels, broadly, “Jihad”).
Ethnic divisions have always existed--sometimes being or becoming politically salient and leading to conflict, and at other times not being salient, so that groups have lived side-by-side peacefully for years. What is interesting about these divisions (over language, religion, culture and traditions, status, or race) is that ethnic groups that have co-existed for years or generations, still retain the capacity for being roused to a fighting pitch by elites. Ethnic conflict has been a major preoccupation of governments and political scientists since decolonialization unleashed a multitude of new clashes in the developing world, to go along with a number of persisting cases in the West. The fall of communism has had the effect of releasing the energies of previously repressed ethnic groups and has created new demands, just at the time when globalization has been undermining the capacity of the state to control its own affairs.
This seminar is concerned with the concept of ethnicity, ethnic cleavages, and nationalism; theories of ethnicity ranging from primordialism, instrumentalism, to social construction and the invention of tradition; nationalist strategies and goals of dissident ethnic groups; and conflict management strategies for the state. Following a 4-5 week introduction at the theoretical level, the seminar will consider specific country case studies where ethnic cleavages constitute a highly salient political fact, including Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Indonesia (Aceh, Maluku, and the now independent East Timor), Kosovo and Bosnia, the Kurds (in 4 states), and the Basques (and possibly Catalans) in Spain.
Course requirements: Weekly readings and seminar participation. Three short discussant papers based on weekly readings. Formal term paper of approximately 20 pages.