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IR Notes Lecture 20

IR Notes Lecture 20 - IR Notes Lecture Civil Wars and...

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IR Notes Lecture 20—March 29, 2007 Civil Wars and Ethnic Conflicts I. Why Study Internal Conflict? II. The Consequences of Internal Conflict III. The Causes of IC IV. Responses to IC V. The Challenges of Military Intervention I. Why Study? a) Since end of WWII, 120 civil wars compared to 30 interstate wars b) Since end of Cold War, intrastate wars have become more common i) Often involve brutal violence based on ethnic or religion conflicts, many parties, and attention of great powers on whether and how to intervene to end c) So very interesting II. The Consequences a) Large number of dead—16.5M vs. 3M in intrastate vs. interstate wars since 1945 i) 3M dead in the Congo (Zaire) b) Large amount of destruction and happen in societies that have the least ability to rebuild c) Displacement of large numbers of people—refugee flows i) This internationalizes these conflicts and causes problems for surrounding countries ii) Internally displace persons: displaced within border iii) Rwanda—2M refugees d) Cotangent Effect i) Unrest in one country can spread and cause unrest in another, esp. if an ethnic group is split by an international border III. Causes a) Nationalism at root: nations are groups to which individuals pledge their allegiance, and nationalism is the desire of these groups of national self- determination b) Many conflict result of the desire of national groups to govern themselves c) Now, more specific i) Conventional wisdom after Cold War about what’s causing these conflicts (1) Arose because the end of the Cold War lifted the lid on so called ancient hatreds (a) Argument is that various ethnic groups had held onto these grievances and now boiling over (2) Problem with this argument is that it can’t explain variation out there (a) If it really is this, then why is the actual war b/w these groups relatively infrequent? Wouldn’t they constantly be fighting? History b/ w Serbs and Croats was peaceful for long periods ii) So academic literature tries to identify specific causes of some of the conflicts we’ve seen (1) Ways to think about it
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(2) Systemic (a) Underlying, deep, structural causes (i) Weak states (ii) Intra-state security dilemmas (iii) Ethnic geography (iv)Elite politics (b) More proximate causes—ways underlying causes manifest themselves to produce specific causes (i)
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