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Identity Matters: Ethnic and Sectarian Conflict

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Identity Matters

Ethnic and Sectarian Conflict

Edited by James L. Peacock, Patricia M. Thornton, and Patrick B. Inman

258 pages, 12 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-308-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (May 2007)

ISBN  978-1-84545-311-4 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (May 2007)

eISBN 978-0-85745-689-2 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 and war in Afghanistan, the Fulbright New Century Scholars program brought together social scientists from around the world to study sectarian, ethnic, and cultural conflict within and across national borders. As one result of their year of intense discussion, this book examines the roots of collective violence — and the measures taken to avoid it — in Burma (Myanmar), China, Germany, Pakistan, Senegal, Singapore, Thailand, Tibet, Ukraine, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe.

Case studies and theoretical essays introduce the basic principles necessary to identify and explain the symbols and practices each unique human group holds sacred or inalienable. The authors apply the methods of political science, social psychology, anthropology, journalism, and educational research. They build on the insights of Gordon Allport, Charles Taylor, and Max Weber to describe and analyze the patterns of behavior that social groups worldwide use to maintain their identities.

Written to inform the general reader and communicate across disciplinary boundaries, this important and timely volume demonstrates ways of understanding, predicting and coping with ethnic and sectarian violence.

Contributors: Badeng Nima, David Brown, Kwanchewan Buadaeng, Patrick B. Inman, Karina V. Korostelina, James L. Peacock, Thomas F. Pettigrew, Wee Teng Soh, Hamadou Tidiane Sy, Patricia M. Thornton, Mohammad Waseem.

James L. Peacock is Kenan Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the 2002 recipient of the American Anthropological Association’s Boas Award. His publications include: Grounded Globalism (University of Georgia Press, 2007), Pilgrims of Paradox (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), The Anthropological Lens (Cambridge University Press, 1986, 2001), and Rites of Modernization (University of Chicago Press, 1968, 1987).

Patricia M. Thornton is Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of Disciplining the State: Virtue, Violence, and State-Making in Modern China (Harvard University Press, 2007).

Patrick B. Inman is a freelance academic editor and independent historian.

Subject: Theory and Methodology Peace and Conflict Studies


List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Identity Matters
Patricia M. Thornton

Chapter 1. Ethnic Conflict and Civic Nationalism: A Model
David Brown

Chapter 2. Social Identity Matters: Predicting Prejudice and Violence in Western Europe
Thomas F. Pettigrew

Chapter 3. Readiness to Fight in Crimea: How It Interrelates with National and Ethnic Identities
Karina V. Korostelina

Chapter 4. Ethnic Identities of the Karen Peoples in Burma and Thailand
Kwanchewan Buadaeng

Chapter 5. European Attitudes toward Immigrants
Thomas F. Pettigrew

Chapter 6. Tibetan Identity in Today’s China
Badeng Nima

Chapter 7. Cross-Cutting Identities in Singapore: Crabgrass on the Padang
James L. Peacock and Wee Teng Soh

Chapter 8. The Casamance Separatist Conflict: From Identity to the Trap of “Identitism”
Hamadou Tidiane Sy

Chapter 9. Manufacturing Sectarian Divides: The Chinese State, Identities, and Collective Violence
Patricia M. Thornton

Chapter 10. Islam and the West: A Perspective from Pakistan
Mohammad Waseem

Conclusion: Ethnic and Sectarian as Ideal Types
Patrick B. Inman and James L. Peacock


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