Ethnopolitics Papers | Volume 1 (2010-2011)By Timofey Agarin on 23 December 2014
All manuscripts below are freely available for download.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 1
Marjetka Pezdirc, University of Exeter
The Construction and Deconstruction of a Just War: The War on Terror Revisited
International and domestic audiences have to be convinced of the justness of a cause and the importance of defending core values from imminent threats before they approve of the violent means of war. The narrative structure of the War on Terror discourse attests to the careful and deliberate processes of securitization and rhetorical justification of war in order to make war acceptable to sceptical audiences. The inherent subjectivity of the abstract notions such as threat, danger, justness, intention or last resort allows for a range of interpretations. The one most favourable to the cause of the War on Terror was chosen and perpetuated through the dominant discourse. Other voices were overpowered and silenced, other truths dismissed as fabrications. All discourse is fabricated and there is no single truth about the world. The first step to escape the control of the ‘sovereign voice of truth’ is to become aware of the social construction of reality. The lesson of questioning the dominant narratives by confronting them with alternative narratives is especially pertinent to ethno-political studies oriented towards asymmetric conflicts. In the case of the War on Terror there is a vast range of particular American interests that challenge the construction of a defensive and humanitarian war. These interests suggest that the War on Terror is an imperialistic and interventionist endeavour that serves to further practical American interests. To bring attention to other narratives, other explanations and other aspects of the ‘truth’ is not irrelevant, especially in view of the scope of the War on Terror implied in the phrase the Axis of Evil. Publics should be even more sceptical the next time they hear of destructive weapons in possession of an evil regime that takes from its people and gives to the terrorists.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 2
Anaïd Flesken, University of Exeter
Bolivia's Regional Elections 2010
Following closely the national elections of December 2009, Bolivia’s regional elections of April 2010 determined two outcomes: On the one hand, they decided the size and strength of the opposition towards current president Evo Morales and his political organization, Movement towards Socialism (MAS). On the other hand, they decided the distribution of power during the implementation of the country’s new constitution. This will establish, amongst other issues, the level of regional, municipal, as well as indigenous autonomy. Here, the plans of the indigenous-based MAS face opposition from the relatively affluent and mainly white and mixed-race region in the eastern lowlands of the country. The election results indicate that the MAS maintained widespread support among Bolivians. It secured the majority of departments and municipalities, yet had to record some losses at the local level. The right-wing opposition won in the departments of the eastern lowlands, which indicates a deepening regional cleavage.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 3
Gareth Curless, University of Exeter
Sudan’s 2010 National Elections
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in 2005 by the incumbent National Congress Party (NCP) and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), brought to an end more than two decades of civil war in Sudan. The holding of national elections is a key stipulation of the CPA. The elections, involving multiple levels executive and legislative elections, will determine the distribution of power in Sudan prior to the 2011 referendum on southern secession, another key provision of the CPA. After more than two decades of authoritarian rule in Sudan, it was hoped that the elections would be the catalyst for internal democratic change; bringing greater political representation to the marginalized peripheries, thus demonstrating the possibility of a democratic system in a unified Sudan. However, after delays, disputes and accusations of malpractice, the recent election results suggest that Sudan is now a two-party authoritarian state, on the brink of separation.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 4
Adrian Guelke, Queen's University Belfast
Approaches to the Control of Ethnic Conflict in the post-Cold War World
This paper was presented at the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies International Conference, ‘Ethno-Politics in a Globalized World’, in June 2010. Professor Adrian Guelke from Queen’s University Belfast was cordially invited to speak on mechanisms for managing ethnic conflict.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 5
Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham
Approaches to Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies: The Many Uses of Territorial Self-Governance
This paper explores the multiple uses of territorial self-governance (TSG) arrangements as mechanisms of ethnic conflict management. Proceeding in several steps, I first conceptualize the meaning of TSG in the context of conflict management in divided societies and then offer a brief history of its practical usage in the period until 1990. This historical contextualization is important for an understanding of both the contemporary theory and practice of TSG as a strategy of conflict management which I examine at length conceptually and empirically in the third section of this paper, before concluding with some general observations on the utility of TSG as an approach to conflict management in divided societies.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 6
Mary–Alice C. Clancy, University of Exeter
Special Relationship: An Examination of the Bush Administration and the ‘Internationalization’ of Northern Ireland
This paper seeks to explain US intervention in the Northern Ireland peace process, with a particular focus on the interventions of the administration of George W. Bush. Beginning with an overview of the Clinton administration, the paper demonstrates that the ‘internationalization’ of the peace process has been neither as benign nor negligible as many commentators have argued. Somewhat similarly, most commentators assumed that the demands of the US–UK ‘special relationship’, combined with the Bush administration’s relative disinterest in Northern Ireland, would lead to little, if any, interventions in contravention of British wishes. Drawing upon interviews with senior UK, Irish, and US officials, and the papers of a senior Bush administration official left to the author, this paper will demonstrate that the Bush administration pursued policy that was at times inimical to British preferences. Having done so, the paper will then seek to explain the Bush administration’s interventions via foreign policy analysis (FPA). The paper will conclude by asking what, if any, wider conclusions can be drawn regarding US intervention in Northern Ireland.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 7
Gareth Curless, University of Exeter
Sudan’s 2011 Referendum on Southern Secession
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in 2005 by the incumbent National Congress Party (NCP) and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), brought to an end more than two decades of civil war in Sudan. The holding of a referendum on the issue of southern secession was the last key provision of the CPA. It was hoped that the CPA would be the catalyst for internal change; bringing greater political and economic power to the marginalized peripheries, thereby demonstrating to the southern Sudanese the possibilities of continued unity. However, after delays, disputes and ongoing violence, the southern Sudanese voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession. The NCP and the SPLM must now resolve a number of complex post-referendum issues, including the sharing of oil revenues and status of Abyei. Considering the difficult NCP-SPLM relationship prior to the referendum it remains to be seen whether the two parties can address these issues ahead of the South’s independence in July 2011.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 8
John Heathershaw, University of Exeter & Sophie Roche, Zentrum Moderner Orient
Islam and Political Violence in Tajikistan: An Ethnographic Perspective on the Causes and Consequences of the 2010
Armed Conflict in the Kamarob Gorge
This paper offers a preliminary and contemporaneous interpretation of the armed conflict in the Kamarob Gorge of Tajikistan between the national government and a local ‘mujohid’ group in late-2010. It does so via insights from ethnographic research prior to the violence, communications from local observers during the violence, and through the conceptual lens of local politics. A local politics approach analyses conflict neither in terms of global Islamic-secular confrontation nor national or international ethnopolitics. Rather, it draws attention to the specific dynamics of governance and business, which brought violence to this particular part of Tajikistan. We find a basis for centre-periphery conflict over political control and lootable resources but a lack of widespread support for the armed resistance. In such circumstances the relatively rapid breakdown of the ‘Islamist insurgency’ against the state should be of no surprise. We argue that this does not indicate the relative strength of the state versus society, not least because of the evident weakness of the armed forces of Tajikistan during the military campaign. Rather it suggests that militant Islam has little support in Kamarob, that local elites lack the capacity and interests to pursue an insurgency against the regime, and that these local political struggles are largely detached from the concerns of everyday life. However, we note that the Government of Tajikistan’s response to the violence – an intensified national campaign against Islamic education and the legal Islamic Renaissance Party – risks, in the long- term, creating the very militancy that it is supposed to counter.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 9
Ertan Munoglu, University of Sussex
The Impact of Nationalism on Democratisation in Central and South-Eastern Europe
This paper builds on Hirschman and Bugajski’s nationalism related theories and tries to explore the relationship between nationalism and democratization in six countries in Central and South East Europe. Acknowledging the existence of various relationships between a people and a state, the paper classifies these into exit, voice and loyalty strategies and analyzes them comparatively in relation to democracy and nationalism, respectively. More specifically, the paper explores nationalistic policies pursued by these countries during their democratization processes and argues that democratization is more likely to succeed in cases where civic nationalism prevails over ethnic nationalism. Democratization seems to be impaired and prolonged in cases where at least one ethnic community involved adopts ethnic nationalism.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 10
Annemarie Peen Rodt, University of Bath
The African Mission in Burundi: The Successful Management of Violent Ethno-Political Conflict?
The African Union (AU) was established in 2002 to promote peace, security and stability on the African continent. Since then the AU has launched peace operations to help regulate conflicts in Burundi, Comoros, Sudan and Somalia. This paper evaluates the first of these endeavours: the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB) in 2003-4. The purpose of this analysis is to explore the AU’s nascent approach to peacekeeping and to investigate the relationship between the Union’s aspiration, experience and prospect to provide ‘African solutions to African problems’ in the security realm. The AMIB case study suggests that both the capabilities of the intervener and the conflict context in which it intervenes affect an operation’s chance of success. Not only the combination of the two, but also how they relate to each other matters. Different actors affect the contextual conditions for operational success. More support from one actor can to some extent compensate for less support from another. This was the case with AMIB, where South African commitment and capabilities made up for limited resources on part of the AU, its member states and institutions as well as insufficient interest from the international donor community.