1st Edition

Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity

Edited By Nikki R. Slocum-Bradley Copyright 2009

    Developing a solid basis for future research and training, this illuminating volume facilitates peace and mutual understanding between people by addressing a root cause of social conflicts: identity constructions. The volume encompasses eight revealing empirical case studies from regions throughout the world, conducted by experts from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Each case study examines how identities are being constructed and used in the region, how these identities are related to borders and in what ways identity constructions foment peace or conflict. The volume summarizes insights gleaned from these studies and formulates an analytical framework for understanding the role of identity constructions in conflict or peace.

    Chapter 1 Introduction: Borders of the Mind, NikkiSlocum-Bradley; Chapter 2 The Making of Nations in Belgium and Western Europe in Historical Perspective (Fifteenth-Twentieth Century): National Ideology, Ethnicity, Language and Politics, SébastienDubois; Chapter 3 Identity Construction and Citizenship Conflicts in Central Nigeria, OgohAlubo; Chapter 4 The Formation of National Identity in Israel/Palestine: The Construction of Spatial Knowledge and Contested Territorial Narratives, DavidNewman; Chapter 5 Borders of/on the Mind, Borders in the Jungle: Islamic Insurgency and Ethno-Religious Irredentism in Southern Thailand, DavidCamroux, DonPathan; Chapter 6 The Positioning Diamond: Conceptualizing Identity Constructions at the US-Mexico Border, NikkiSlocum-Bradley; Chapter 7 Identity Construction in the EU, NAFTA and Mercosur: Opportunities for Peace and Conflict, FrancescoDuina; Chapter 8 Religion and Regional Planning: The Case of the Emerging ‘Shi’a Region’, Fathali M.Moghaddam; Chapter 9 Custom and Identity: Reflections on and Representations of Violence in Melanesia, M. AnneBrown; Chapter 10 Crossing Mental Borders: Constructing a Laissez-Passer for Peace, NikkiSlocum-Bradley;


    Nikki R. Slocum-Bradley is Research Fellow at the United Nations University, Belgium.

    'In a world in which centripetal and centrifugal forces are impacting on communities and nations in the face of globalization and geopolitics, stress and friction are likely results that could lead to societal fissures and conflict. The search for identity in the midst of all this - which in itself is a potent force - can exacerbate or mitigate the conflict. But what are the key aspects of identity that can promote social harmony in our new world disorder? Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity examines the role of identity in selected communities around the world and explores the prospects of expanding the borders of the mind to embrace an attitude that recognizes and respects diversity, yet sharing common values for peace through co-existence. This book, which looks at the power of identity that is one of the root causes of conflict, leads one to assess if promoting interdependence and a sense of belonging and commonality contribute to enhancing social integration that will foster unity and peace? Or are territorial borders too constricting on the mental borders that define one's identity? Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity offers lessons to be learned on addressing physical and psychological space that characterize our being in the concept of identity for which many are willing to lay down their lives to defend.' H.E. Rt. Hon. Don McKinnon, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, and former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of New Zealand 'This volume is a timely and challenging opportunity for us to explore what is clearly a root cause of global tension and conflict - and that is identity construction. Dr Nikki Slocum-Bradley has set herself the task through eight case studies of promoting understanding of how we can build peace, mutual respect and trust across communities and borders. As we reflect, for instance, on events in Rwanda and in Darfur we are reminded that descent into genocide has tragically and typically been li