The following sample essay on Solutions To Ethnic Violence. The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Ethnic Conflict Essay. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed. This paper will explore the realist explanations of ethnic conflicts and then see how critical theory explanations offer new insight and answers to puzzles that could not be previously be explained. It will then explore several of the possible solutions used to end incidents of ethnic violence.
Finally, it Will focus on the debate surrounding partition as a possible solution to ethnic conflict, concluding that it is in fact a viable option for peace when implemented judiciously.
According to realist explanations, ethnic conflicts are deeply rooted in cognitive and situational needs. In his article, “The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict,” realist scholar Barry Poses claims that anarchy rates competition and hostility between ethnic, religious and cultural groups. Ethnic fractions act to preserve their identity and physical security through the accumulation of resources and military power.
Interestingly, Poses notes that social cohesion is viewed as a larger threat than material assets in military competition. Social cohesion, he claims, derives from historical accounts of identity building which often are inaccurate and biased; thus perpetuating cultural differences and hatred of the other.
Accordingly, ethnic tensions are inevitable but can quickly imaging/ to warfare when one group coerces or nominates the other militarily or ideologically, Realists, such as Poses do not ignore the fact that “ideas” are essential elements of ethnic conflict, but rather use them support the needs of power and mutual deterrence, In his article, “Symbolic Politics or Rational Choice? ” Stewart Kaufman attempts to deconstruct realist explanations of ethnic conflicts by introducing his own theory called “symbolic politics.
” According to this theory, episodes of extreme ethnic violence are caused by, G]roof myths that justify hostility, fears of group extinction and a symbolic politics of chauvinist manipulation. ” Kaufman believes that hose myths produce “emotion-laden symbols that make mass hostility easy for chauvinist elites to provoke and make extremist policies Both Poses and Kaufman use the situation in former Yugoslavia to validate their respective theories.
According to Posse’s realist explanation, the origin of the conflict was a primordial contentious relationship between the Carats and Seers. Due to the past violence and aggression inflicted upon them by the Carats, the Seers were justifiably fearful for their security. Their ability to mobile and slight military advantage prompted mutual fear and competition from the Carats, which in turn exulted in the Seers launching what they perceived to be a preventative war. 41 Kauffmann symbolic politics theory suggests that the conflict was not one based on group interests or material factors, but rather, “the struggle for relative group and that charismatic leaders such as Implosive and Dustman exploited pre-existing myths and symbols which appealed to the emotions of the public, in order promote their own, expansionist agendas. upon in depth analysis of both scholars’ explanations, I found each to be very similar and plausible. In my opinion, Kauffmann “symbolic politics” theory does not undermine
Posse’s realist explanation of the conflict, but rather supports and expands on it. Kauffmann explanation appears to be more of a critical analysis which combines elements of realist explanations (power), liberal explanations (elite manipulation of ethnic differences by leaders) and constructivist explanations (ethnic identities are constructed by historical “myths” In the same article, Kaufman examines the ethnic conflicts of Sudan and Rwanda as case studies to further support his symbolic politics theory. The most dominant explanation tort ethnic conflict in these areas had been the realist account, which claimed hat European colonialism created strife by reconstructing African identities and exploiting their resources; forcing them the compete with each other for survival.
While I do believe that these realist explanations are legitimate factors, do not think they are the only ones. After reading Stuart Kauffmann in depth explanations, I am now convinced that value systems-?or lack thereof, lie at the root of ethnic conflict. In Northern Sudan, Islamic values encouraged hostile expansionism of Shari law, which threatened the survival (identity) of the Southern Sudanese who were unwilling to submit to it. Similarly, the creation f hostile myths against the Tutsis minority and large scale acceptance of the use of violence against them in Rwanda shows how easily populations lacking strong value systems can be manipulated by political elites into justifying the most heinous acts of violence against other human beings. Just as there are many plausible theories that explain the causes Of ethnic conflicts worldwide, there too are many possible solutions.
Although he is a realist scholar, Barry Poses admits that peacekeeping can sometimes be achieved through diplomatic measures, mainly by encouraging groups involved in the conflict to reexamine heir past history from a more objective standpoint. Other third party options include: the creation of international institutions aimed at rebuilding domestic institutions, international treaties such as the non-proliferation policy, the use of economic sanctions, and the use of peacekeeping forces. All of these solutions have had success in some areas and tailored elsewhere.
When international diplomatic peacekeeping efforts fail and the ethnic conflict persists, outside powers are sometimes torched to implement material methods to assistance including military support and weaponry. Because warfare is always a last resort, he use of partitions has become a highly effective but equally controversial method used to suppress ethnic violence. According to some realist scholars, the separation of ethnic identities serves a necessary purpose; it provides people with meaningful associations and security.
Chain Kaufmann, though a prominent proponent of the use of partitions in pervasive internship conflict, still acknowledges that they should be used as a last resort and that the risks of partition and population transfers are only worth undertaking if they are saving the lives that valued have been sacrificed if they had not Critics of the use of partitions such as Radar Kumar argue that they do little to mitigate violence, but instead escalate tensions and cause mass movements of forced migration. 8] In his article, “When All Else Fails: Ethnic Population Transfers and Partitions in the Twentieth Century,” Chain Kaufmann does a good job at deconstructing this myth. He claims that persistent violence creates refugee movements because people are afraid to Stay where they are, or are at times forced to leave by opposing militant forces.
Therefore, intermixed populations will inevitably become separated and the use of partitions only revs as an organizational vehicle which would enable them to resettle in a structured and protected manner. 9] Samara’s arguments are further refuted by Kaufmann use of empirical data which prove that incidents of violence actually diminished when partitions were constructed in Ireland, India and Cyprus and that marginal increases of violence in those regions were not a result to the partition, but rather the lack to complete separation between rival groups within those regions, Kaufmann concedes that the with Israel and Palestine is a special circumstance due to the fact that Palestinian threats are o pervasive that Israel’s existence is dependent on the partition.
In contrast, Kumara strongest argument is that partition has rarely been anything more than a temporary solution to conflict, but its psychological effects are permanent. After considering both sides of the argument, I believe the benefits of using partitions far out way the costs. While the psychological barriers that partitions create are an unfortunate reality, the numbers of lives they save are more important. In closing it is important to understand that each case Of ethnic conflict studied has individual characteristics which make it unique and thus he causes and solutions to each situation are unique as well. Despite their variance, there is still something that can be learned and applied by studying each case.
The realist explanation asserts that power and security factors are the motivating cause for conflict, but new critical theory explanations help us to see that physical and psychological security alone are not enough to deter episodes of ethnic violence. While it has been proven that material factors such as military and nuclear capability and partitions are effective deterrents, they should only be used as last result methods. International institutions, treaties and post inflict reconstruction initiatives are all instrumental in the peacekeeping effort. But in my opinion, the most effective method used for reducing incidences of ethnic violence is that of nation building. I’ve arrived at this conclusion, not only through scholarly analysis but also through personal experience.