Contentious Identities : Ethnic, Religious and National Conflicts in Today's World book cover
1st Edition

Contentious Identities
Ethnic, Religious and National Conflicts in Today's World

ISBN 9780415892001
Published December 21, 2010 by Routledge
78 Pages

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Book Description

This book analyzes widespread global ethnic conflicts that tear asunder nations and regions, such as the former Yugoslavia. Dan Chirot casts his analysis in a discussion of the conflict between national and ethnic identity, discovering that ethnic identity, rooted in centuries of tradition and habit, often trumps national identity, which may be of more recent gestation and have a weaker hold on people. His analysis affords insights into the recent aggressive U.S. posture on ‘nation building,’ showing the blindness of this approach to deeply-entrenched ethnic identities. His timely book can be used in classes on globalization, international development, political sociology, social movements, and theory.

The goal of this new, unique Series is to offer readable, teachable "thinking frames" on today’s social problems and social issues by leading scholars, all in short 60 page or shorter formats, and available for view on

For instructors teaching a wide range of courses in the social sciences, the Routledge Social Issues Collection now offers the best of both worlds: originally written short texts that provide "overviews" to important social issues as well as teachable excerpts from larger works previously published by Routledge and other presses.

Table of Contents

1. From Family and Tribe to Modern Nation-State  2. Majority-Minority Problems in Modern States and Nations and Strategies for Dealing with Them  3. War or Peace? The Range of Possible Ethnic and Other Identity Conflicts  4. Causes of Increasing or Decreasing Conflicts  5. Genocides: The Extreme Cases of Ethnic and Religious Conflicts  6. Contemporary Dangers and Opportunities

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Daniel Chirot is Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. His books have been about genocide, ethnic conflicts, tyranny, social change, and Eastern Europe. He has consulted for NGOs, most recently for CARE in Africa. He has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a Senior Fellowship at the United States Institute of Peace.