Political ethnicity: a new paradigm of analysis
Coffman, James H.
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Ethnic conflict is a contemporary issue plaguing many states as the international system moves towards a New World Order. However, despite the importance of ethnic-based violence and nationalistic social revolutions, current conflict theories do not adequately explain the fundamental dynamics of ethnic conflict or provide clear prescriptive policy guidance. This thesis articulates a model that describes and explains ethnic conflict. The fundamental purpose of this effort is two-fold. First, it provides a method to objectively examine and describe the fundamentals of ethnic-based conflicts, social, and political revolutions. Second, the paradigm provides decision makers with important prescriptions for foreign and domestic policies vis-a-vis ethnic conflict. To accomplish this goal, the thesis is divided into three main sections. Section one outlines the Political Ethnicity model. This four part model provides a simple yet powerful theoretical tool for analyzing ethnic conflict. Section two applies the model to three case studies. These illustrative case studies demonstrate the explanatory effectiveness of the Political Ethnicity paradigm in actual instances of ethnic conflict. Section three applies the conclusions drawn to guide policy decisions at both the international and domestic level. This systematic approach to ethnic conflict should provide policy makers in both the State and Defense Departments with a useful and objective decision making tool
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