The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War
By (author) Stuart J. Kaufman
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Modern Hatreds by Stuart J. Kaufman
Book DescriptionEthnic conflict has been the driving force of wars all over the world, yet it remains an enigma. What is it about ethnicity that breaks countries apart and drives people to acts of savage violence against their lifelong neighbors? Stuart Kaufman rejects the notion of permanent "ancient hatreds" as the answer. Dissatisfied as well with a purely rationalist explanation, he finds the roots of ethnic violence in myths and symbols, the stories ethnic groups tell about who they are. Ethnic wars, Kaufman argues, result from the politics of these myths and symbols-appeals to flags and faded glories that aim to stir emotions rather than to address interests. Popular hostility based on these myths impels groups to follow extremist leaders invoking such emotion-laden ethnic symbols. If ethnic domination becomes their goal, ethnic war is the likely result. Kaufman examines contemporary ethnic wars in the Caucasus and southeastern Europe. Drawing on information from a variety of sources, including visits to the regions and dozens of personal interviews, he demonstrates that diplomacy and economic incentives are not enough to prevent or end ethnic wars. The key to real conflict resolution is peacebuilding-the often-overlooked effort by nongovernmental organizations to change hostile attitudes at both the elite and the grassroots levels.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801487361
(235mm x 156mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 1-May-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Stuart J. Kaufman
Nationalist Passions, Paperback (September 2015)
Nationalist Passions poses a stark challenge to extreme rationalist understandings of political conflict. Stuart J. Kaufman elaborates a compelling theory of ethnic politics to explain why ethnic violence erupts in some contexts and how peace is maintained in others.
Balance of Power in World History, Paperback (August 2007)» View all books by Stuart J. Kaufman
The balance of power is one of the most influential ideas in international relations, yet it has never been comprehensively examined in pre-modern or non-European contexts. This book redresses this imbalance. The authors present eight new case studies of balancing and balancing failure in pre-modern and non-European international systems.
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Author Biography - Stuart J. Kaufman
Stuart J. Kaufman is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. He is the author of Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War (winner of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order) and Nationalist Passions, both from Cornell, and coeditor of The Balance of Power in World History.
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