World Politics and the Internationalization of Ethnicity: The Challenge of Primordial and Structural Perspectives
Previous research concerning ethnicity in comparative and international politics has been both extensive and polemical. Broad theoretical works have sought to demonstrate the utility (or deficiency) of the concept for understanding collective behavior and social strife (Smith, 1991; Connor, 1972, 1984, 1994; Horowitz, 1985; Rothschild, 1981), while detailed empirical works have debated the presence or absence of trends that may be occurring (Young, 1976, 1993). More recently, several analysts have explored the connection between the post-Cold War order and the resurgence of ethnic-driven conflict (Croucher, 1996; Carment and James, 1994, 1997; Moynihan, 1993).
This chapter examines the primordial and structural perspectives that have been the grist for the academic and policy debate on the role and influence of ethnicity in comparative politics and international relations. The approach used to define and explain manifestations of ethnicity, ethnic mobilization, and types of ethnic conflict-primordial or rational-determine what are identified as central problems for domestic and, international stability. These issues are essential for identifying and comparing the dominant and distinctive forces shaping the current wave of ethnic-based social strife and conflict. And finally, primordial and instrumental/rational approaches are examined because the destabilizing effects and the tendency of polarized ethnic strife to spill over into marginally related arenas are now at the forefront of World politics in a variety of regional balances of power and are a central dimension of current great power politics, as NATO military action .in Montenegro and Kosovo demonstrates.
world politics, internationalization, ethnicity
Comparative Politics | Law | Political Science
John F. Stack, Jr., World Politics and the Internationalization of Ethnicity: The Challenge of Primordial and Structural Perspectives, in THE ETHNIC ENTANGLEMENT : CONFLICT AND INTERVENTION IN WORLD POLITICS, (John F. Stack, Jr. and Lui Hebron, eds., Praeger, Westport, CT, 1999).