Understanding ethnic conflict: The international dimension
Taras, R. and Ganguly, R. (2006) Understanding ethnic conflict: The international dimension. Longman, New York.
The first decade of the twenty-first century has demonstrated how nationalism, ethnicity, and religion remain among the most powerful political forces shaping the world. Even while democracy makes headway all over the globe-in 2005, about two-thirds of the 192 countries in the United Nations could be regarded as electoral democracies-a seemingly atavistic attachment to the nation a citizen is born in continues to profoundly shape the nature of world politics. The presence or absence of ethnic or ethnoreligious movements often determines whether a country will enjoy domestic stability or not and, more recently, whether entire regions of the world are at peace or at war. Indeed, some academics have speculated that wars between regions and even entire civilizations may occur because of cultural differences rooted in ethnicity and religion. For many people who had looked forward to an era of global peace and stability after the winding down of the cold war, it is deeply disappointing to have to live in a decade dominated by a war on terror, Islamic jihadism, increased anti-Americanism, political divisions between "new" and "old" Europe, proliferation of nuclear weapons into more and more "non-Western" countries, and simple low-intensity clashes of cultures and values in various parts of the world. The post-cold war nationalisms of peoples fanned by ethnoreligious movements have contributed much to a decade of unfulfilled hopes and expectations.
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