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SAGE Publications

Cover Image: Ethnic Conflict: A Systematic Approach to Cases of Conflict
  • Date: 02/09/2010
  • Format: Print Paperback
  • Price: $58.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-87289-492-1
  • Pages: 352
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Ethnic Conflict: A Systematic Approach to Cases of Conflict
Neal G. Jesse, Bowling Green State University
Kristen P. Williams, Clark University


As ethnic groups clash, the international community faces the challenge of understanding the multiple causes of violence and formulating solutions that will bring about peace. Allowing for greater insight, Jesse and Williams bridge two sub-fields of political science in Ethnic Conflict—international relations and comparative politics. They systematically apply a “levels of analysis” framework, looking at the individual, domestic, and international contexts to better explore and understand its complexity. Five case study chapters apply the book’s framework to disputes around the world and include coverage of Bosnia, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. Never losing sight of their analytical framework, the authors provide richly detailed case studies that help students understand both the unique and shared causes of each conflict.

Students will appreciate the book’s logical presentation and excellent pedagogical features including detailed maps that show political, demographic, and cultural data.

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Table of Contents

1. Ethnic Conflict and Approaches to Understanding It
Defining Our Terms
Theories of Ethnicity/Nationalism
International Relations and Ethnic Conflict
Conclusion

2. Levels of Analysis and Ethnic Conflict
Individual Level
Domestic Level
International Level
Conclusion

3. Northern Ireland: Protestants, Catholics, and “The Troubles”
Northern Ireland in Historical Context
Individual Level
Domestic Level
International Level
Conclusion

4. Bosnia: War in the Balkans
Bosnia in Historical Context
Individual Level
Domestic Level
International Level
Conclusion 

5. Sudan: Arabs versus Africans and Darfur in Crisis
The Darfur Crisis in Historical Context
Individual Level
Domestic Level
International Level
Conclusion

6. Sri Lanka: Protracted Rebellion
The Sri Lankan Crisis in Historical Context
Individual Level
Domestic Level
International Level
Conclusion

7. Israel and Palestine: Two Peoples, One Land
Israel and Palestine in Historical Context
Individual Level
Domestic Level
International Level
Conclusion

8. Conclusion
Revisiting Theories of Ethnicity and Nationalism
International Relations Theories on Ethnic Conflict
Levels of Analysis
Conclusion

 

Testimonials
Ethnic Conflict bridges the sub-fields of international relations and comparative politics. As someone who does research in this area and has taught the subject to undergraduates, I believe this approach will help students make sense of the overlapping factors that contribute to conflict. Another asset is that the authors apply the three levels of analysis (common to most IR scholarship) throughout the book, which is of value even when the book is used in comparative politics courses like political development or ethnic politics. Integrating the literature in IR and comparative politics by using the levels of analysis framework to analyze the causes of and solutions to ethnic conflicts is an innovative and impressive idea. - Gigi Gokcek, Dominican University of California

Jesse and Williams offer a new synthetic treatment of the causes of ethnic conflict in the contemporary era. Integrating across the levels of analysis, they deftly meld individual, domestic, and international factors to probe the origins of conflict in five important cases-Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Israel/Palestine, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. Drawing on the best of recent scholarship, their compelling text will introduce students to the problems and complexities of this tragic, enduring, and still perplexing form of violence. - David A. Lake, University of California, San Diego
Bio(s)
Neal G. Jesse, Bowling Green State University

Neal G. Jesse is chair and associate professor of political science at Bowling Green State University. His research on Britain, Ireland, electoral systems, party systems, and ethnic conflict has appeared in journals such as Electoral Studies, International Political Science Review, International Studies Quarterly, Political Psychology, New Hibernia Review/Iris Éireannach Nua, and Representation. His books include Identity and Institutions: Conflict Reduction in Divided Societies, co-authored with Kristen Williams.

Kristen P. Williams, Clark University

Kristen P. Williams is associate professor of government and international relations at Clark University. Her books include: Despite Nationalist Conflicts: Theory and Practice of Maintaining World Peace; Identity and Institutions: Conflict Reduction in Divided Societies (co-authored with Neal Jesse); Women, the State, and War: A Comparative Perspective on Citizenship and Nationalism (co-authored with Joyce P. Kaufman); and World Politics in a New Era, 4th Edition (co-authored with Steven Spiegel, Jennifer Taw, and Elizabeth Matthews). She is completing a book with Joyce P. Kaufman, What Happened to the Women? A Study of Women’s Political Activism(forthcoming).

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