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Political Science - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Ethnic Conflicts Ethnic conflicts are situations where there is no peace or cooperation in the way two ethnic groups relate. There are two types of ethnic conflicts which include interethnic and intraethnic relations. However, interethnic conflicts occur more frequently compared to intraethnic conflicts because an interethnic conflict is mostly characterized by tension and mistrust, which are both related to violence…
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Political Science
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Download file to see previous pages The first quality is that the theory should explain why interethnic relations are mostly based on tension and mistrust. The second one should explain why the results of interethnic relations are peace and cooperation instead of violence. Lastly, it should explain why in some situations interethnic relations result in spirals of violence or sometimes in war. According to Fearon and Laitin, interethnic conflicts have claimed over ten million lives worldwide since the end of the Second World War (715). However, the approach of many scholars to analyzing this situation is biased, especially while selecting the cases of ethnic conflicts. They focus mainly on post-Soviet and African countries where actual cases of ethnic violence are relatively fewer than potential cases of ethnic violence. In order to avoid biased selection of ethnic violence cases, there is the need for theories that not only account for causes of ethnic violence but also the outcomes of ethnic tension other than violence. The first are rationalist theories, which refer to ethnic groups as joint forces that take or defend beneficial materials from others. These materials include education, labor and state investments. In case one ethnic group denies the other the right to possess a certain material, then violence would result between the two groups. The others are psychological theories that refer to ethic groups as a satisfaction to the need of belonging to a group. Therefore, in this case ethnic violence may occur if one group threatens the psychological satisfaction of the other. In addition to rationalist and psychological theories, game theories would be more precise in explaining outcomes of ethnic conflicts other than violence. Game theories consist of spiral equilibrium and in-group policing equilibrium. Spiral equilibrium is where an individual action during the game is taken to be a joint action of the whole group. In this case, all members of group A punish group B members following unacceptable behavior from one member of group B. A single player from either group immediately triggers a state of complete breakdown of cooperation that once existed between the groups. On the other hand, in-group policing equilibrium is where one group ignores violating actions from the other group, assuming that the other group is going to take disciplinary action against the individual that caused the violation (Fearon and Laitin 730). In this case, a defection of a member from either group does not affect the reaction of the other group. Instead of members from group B responding negatively to members in group A because one of the members from group A portrayed unacceptable behavior, the game continues as if nothing had happened. In some cases, there is the presence of “noise” which, in this context, refers to additional defections such as drunkenness, misinterpretations or sudden passions. In such a case, the best theoretical approach to addressing ethnic outcome would be in-group policing equilibrium. In group policing, unlike spiral regime, punishment is only applicable to the individual responsible for a defection. The other reason that makes in-group policing more appropriate is the fact that in spiral equilibrium members respond to a tiny issue in the same way they would respond to a serious ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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