Interest in the study of ethnic conflict has soared over the past decade, partly due to the ethnic conflicts that have erupted violently, especially in central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism, but also in other parts of the world, such as in Somalia, Rwanda or Indonesia. Simultaneously, Western Europe has remained the site of violent ethnic conflicts in Northern Ireland, Corsica and the Spanish part of the Basque Country, while Canada is still threatened in its territorial and societal integrity by the problems surrounding Quebec. These conflicts affect the lives of millions of people and threaten the stability of national governments and entire regions. Events such as those in Kosovo and East Timor have prompted the international community to engage in difficult and often controversial peace-making and peace-keeping operations with uncertain costs and outcomes. One reason for this uncertainty is the lack of systematic comparative research on the management and settlement of ethnic conflicts.
This book addresses this gap by providing a comprehensive theoretical framework for the study of ethnic conflicts and their management and settlement, the contributors exemplifying their theoretical insights with in-depth case studies provided by experts in the field.