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Sociology - Ethnic Conflict - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: Ethnic Conflict Ethnic Conflict Ethnic Conflict Philip Mason notes that dominance of one party over another is as “old as Pharaohs”, meaning that they date back to the times of ancient civilizations…
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Download file to see previous pages Since many of these conflicts are motivated, because of political and religious frameworks, they are often regarded as ethnic conflicts, for the sake of simplicity. There have been instances, such as the Rwanda Genocide, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (ethno-religious), and the Northern Ireland conflict. According to Stefan Wolf (2006), ethnic conflict is simply regarded as the situation, “in which the goals of at least one conflict party are defined in (exclusively) ethnic terms, and in which the primary fault line of confrontation is one of ethnic distinctions” (pp. 2). Wolf (2006) also illustrates that it has become easy to determine ethnic conflicts in present world situations, since few people would dispute over the above mentioned examples, as well as the Kosovo conflict, Kashmir and of course, Sri Lanka. The complex dynamics that exist within the different linguistic groups in Canada, France and Belgium are also based on ethnicity, although the manifestations of this ethnicity do not take on a largely violent form. Hence, not all ethnic conflicts are violent, and necessarily disruptive; they may be solved within the political boundaries of a country, and within the legal framework. However, ethnicity and ethnic conflicts are a contested topic around the world, and even within the realm of social sciences debate. Some view ethnicity as a “primordialist” perspective, which categorizes the human population that have some shared attributes, while others may view it as a linkage of people, through blood ties. Hence, ethnicity is a fluid concept. Additionally, there is no definition about ethnic conflicts either. Many people may define it within the structure of domestic politics, while others may consider the inter-ethnic clash in the international arena. In fact, even the nature of ethnic conflicts is disputed, as explained above. It may be a form of peaceful expression, or just expression of grievances, but also the exertion of physical force and violent methods. Hence, depending upon the circumstance, ethnic conflicts may lead to civil wars (Jemma, n.d). However, ethnic conflicts need to be studied, and there needs to be an expanding literature on the ending of these ethnic conflicts. According to Christie (1998), ethnic conflicts have not only increased in the developing world, but have started to occur in the developed world, and have caused much misery. Moreover, in 1993, in the UN General-Secretary speech, it was claimed that around 127 reasons have been fought after World War II, because of ethnic conflicts. Security in the modern era has also looked towards ‘soft’ threats to security, which largely occur because of race and ethnicity, changing boundaries, huge migration movements and religion among many other such areas. Now, the paper will examine the ways ethnic conflict has led to widespread violence in Middle East area, pertaining to Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of the important events, which have led to widespread ethnic violence. The conflict dates 80 years back, because of Palestinian nationalism and the Jewish nationalist movement: Zionism. After the six day war, several areas were captured, which put harm to the Palestinian communities. Palestinians endured violence, and so did the Israelis. On a large level, this conflict is the result of the right to self-determination, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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