Ethnic Conflict Why Is Nationalism Relevant Research Paper

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Ethnic Conflict

Why is nationalism relevant to the experience of ethnic conflict? What are the main points Perlmutter highlights about nationalism and ethnic conflict? Which emotions does Moisi identify with specific regions of the world in his clash of emotions analysis?

There are mainly two forms of nationalism that states throughout the world have adopted. The first is civic nationalism that refers to viewing all citizens of a state as members of one nation. The United States is a prime example of a country that exhibits civic nationalism. The second is ethnic nationalism that is based on ethnicity. An example of a country exhibiting ethnic nationalism would be Turkey where the state has identified ethnic Kurds as Turks for the last eighty years, and this state policy has caused internal problems in Turkey. Ethnic nationalism may exist within a country, and therefore ethnic conflicts may emerge within the designated territories of a nation or be directed against members of a different ethnicity in a different country. More often, ethnic conflicts take place in countries exhibiting ethnic nationalism than civic nationalism. Since ethnicity is directly tied to official nationalism of the state, nationalism of different kinds become the main source of ethnic conflicts.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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As Perlmutter (2000) argues, ethnic conflicts often come out of the interplay of myths and realities. In the modern world, ethnic identity politics has contributed to ethnic conflicts in various parts of the world. While identity politics can become a source of being and belonging to a particular group and may be a unifying force, it may "also provoke a destructive sense of 'otherness' and hostility towards other groups that have similar needs, but which originated and developed in a different context." Even a universally acknowledged right of self-termination may lead to ethnic conflicts, since "a group that struggled for its self-determination, its separation from a larger and/or stronger entity, in most cases can become itself an oppressor of smaller, weaker groups" that have either lived in the same territory or in an adjacent one with claims to the disputed territory (Perlmutter). In some other cases, ethnic identity politics may lead to ethnic conflicts because of the fear of "cultural bastardization" between ethnicities living in the same or neighboring nations.

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