In the current environment, most political violence occurs between internal communities, such as ethnic and religious groups, rather than between states. Such inter-communal conflict threatens both internal political stability and interstate relations. In this edited volume, a multidisciplinary and multinational group of scholars analyze the bases of inter-communal conflict and its domestic and international consequences.
The authors focus on inter-communal conflict through the lenses of political struggles in the Middle East and Asia, which provide fertile grounds for assessing the viability of new social constructions and the continuing impact of ancestral ties. Containing theoretical, regional, and country studies, the chapters tackle such issues as: the implications of changes in the institutional rules for political competition; how explanatory narratives for conflict are selected when multiple attributions are possible; the bases of ideological conflict that have arisen within Islam; the problems of ethnic competition that remain unresolved in powersharing arrangements; the consequences for international relations when national boundaries do not circumscribe ethnic and religious communities; and the subordination of women's interests to religious conflict and its resolution. Since identities are shaped by multiple qualities, the contributions examine the role of ideologies, institutions, and politicians in shaping political cleavages, communities, and conflicts. This book was originally published as a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Introduction: Ancestral and instrumental in the politics of ethnic and religious conflict Arthur A. Stein and Ayelet Harel-Shalev
Part I: Domestic and International Sources of Political Competition and Conflict
1. When and why do some social cleavages become politically salient rather than others? Daniel N. Posner
2. Ethnicity, extraterritoriality, and international conflict Arthur A. Stein
Part II: Ethnic and Religious Conflict in the Middle East
3. Representation, minorities and electoral reform: the case of the Palestinian minority in Israel Rebecca Kook
4. The paradox of power-sharing: stability and fragility in postwar Lebanon Amanda Rizkallah
5. Changing Islam, changing the world: contrasting visions within political Islam Nimrod Hurvitz and Eli Alshech
Part III: Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Asia
6. The "ethnic" in Indonesia’s communal conflicts: violence in Ambon, Poso, and Sambas Kirsten E. Schulze
7. Gendering ethnic conflicts: minority women in divided societies – the case of Muslim women in India Ayelet Harel-Shalev