Ethnopolitics Papers | Volume 2 (2011-2012)By Timofey Agarin on 23 December 2014
All manuscripts below are freely available for download.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 11
Karl Cordell, University of Plymouth
Loss, Flight and the Role of Memory: The Case of the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft
The purpose of this paper is to fulfil two primary objectives. The first is to re-count the experience of flight and expulsion of ethnic Germans from their traditional areas of settlement in Czechoslovakia between 1945 and 1949. The second is to assess whether or not the goals set and the message articulated by the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft (Sudeten German Association/SdL), and its umbrella organisation the Bund der Vertriebene (Federation of Expellees/BdV) is of any significance for the politics of German-Czech reconciliation given that the events covered here occurred outwith the lifetime of the large majority of the citizens of either state. The paper concludes by arguing that the activities, concerns and values of the SdL, although by no means irrelevant, make no substantive contribution to the process of Czech-German reconciliation because neither side is prepared to move away from entrenched positions regarding the rationale for and nature of the expulsion process. The paper further draws some observations from the case that may be germane to the wider study of refugee issues.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 12
Lucie Waltzer, University of Luxembourg
The Construction and Deconstruction of Religious and Ethnic Identities
Through immigration and refuge, mainly from the Balkan countries, a Muslim community has established itself in Luxemburg. As this community constitutes a numerical minority, it has not been subject to much scientific research. This paper presents a preliminary analysis of data from interviews with Muslim immigrants and refugees from the Balkans in Luxemburg. The question addressed in this paper is how Muslim immigrants and refugees from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia identify with their religious heritage in a new socio-cultural context, in which they are not necessarily perceived as Muslims. It deconstructs assigned and often taken for granted identities by calling into question the relevance of particular identity markers and by looking at how they are negotiated. This paper shows how individuals use multiple references in their identity construction and analyzes contexts in which particular identity markers become salient.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 13
Mikkel Berg-Nordlie, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Oslo & Arild Schou, Buskerud University College, Kongsberg
Who are Indigenous – And How Should it Matter? Discourses on Indigenous Rights in Norway and Nepal
This paper accounts for certain types of reactions to the indigenous peoples’ (IP) rights discourse, as found in the cases of Nepal and Norway: relevance denial, desirability denial, self-inclusion and indigenous localism. Denials of relevance or desirability were articulated in Nepal by dominant group activists and ‘third people’ activists. Dominant group activists also applied a discourse of self-inclusion into the ‘indigenous’ category. In Norway attitudes to IP rights were less dependent on speakers’ ethnic identities, but the same reaction types were observed in both countries. Although carrying much potential to address indigenous grievances, IP rights discourse is observed to also trigger certain types of counter-reactions that may possibly lead to future backlashes.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 14
Juan Loera–Gonzalez, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Wellbeing Dimensions and Inter-ethnic Determinants: The Case of the Raramuri People in Northern Mexico
The aim of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of persistent ethnic inequality in Northern Mexico. This involves systematizing empirical findings related to the Raramuri (indigenous people) emic conception of wellbeing dimensions and exploring their barriers. In this light two qualitative dimensions of Raramuri wellbeing are described; the importance of farming and the importance of effective social networks. This paper argues that unequal social, economic and political interactions held between the Raramuri and the mestizo (non-indigenous people) limit and hinder Raramuri wellbeing. Three hindering factors are explored; land conflicts; institutional arrangements by the ejido system (land management scheme) and ethnically differentiated vulnerability. Finally, it is argued that these factors are charged by underlying power asymmetries that contribute to the persistence of deprived conditions for that indigenous group.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 15
Matteo Albertini, University of Bologna
Kosovo: An Identity between Local and Global
This paper presents a cross-disciplinary point of view about the study of culture and memory in the contemporary world, considering as case study the process of nation building in Kosovo, the newest nation in Europe. To do so, this paper critically blends suggestions from contemporary globalization studies and the semiotic model of the semiosphere. The processes of nation building acting in Kosovo represent an attractive object of analysis, especially after the independence declared by the Albanian majority. An independence that must be considered not only the consequence of the exacerbation of social relations between ethnic Serbs and Albanians, but has much more to do with the broader geopolitical frame in which it took place. This paper will then focus on tracking the glocal relations, which emerge through different areas of the society (economy, politics, media) in order to show how memory can become a tool to manipulate cultures and a weapon for great powers to achieve specific strategic targets. The final aim is to provide analysis increasingly concerned with the global relationship between the micro-realities of everyday life and the macro-dynamics of the contemporary world, to shed some light on the role of nations in the globalization era.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 16
Sheila Osmanovic, University of East London
Nation and State Building in Nineteenth Century Bosnia and Herzegovina: An Inverted Principle
Nineteenth century Bosnia and Herzegovina became the principal early battleground for the clash between absolute Ottoman centralisation and the local Bosnian autonomy, a status that she maintained throughout Ottoman rule and fought to preserve against Ottoman reforms. The decline of the Ottoman Empire gave rise to the various ethno-nationalisms in the Balkans, but in Bosnia and Herzegovina this process was inverted and Bosniaks were never promoted to a separate nation. The development of Bosniak nationality and state were thwarted and forcefully curtailed by both external factors: the ‘reformed’ Ottoman–Turkish Empire and the Great Powers. In their approach towards Bosnia and Herzegovina they both maintained totalitarian and autocratic attitudes during which the inability of the Turkish rule to substitute the former Ottoman supremacy over Bosnia was settled by the Europeans – not by giving independence to Bosnia – but by drafting the negotiated agreement that placed Bosnia under Austro–Hungarian supervision. Following the break-up of Yugoslavia and 1992–5 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this mimic was reproduced in the Dayton peace agreement signed in 1995. Tight supervision and brokerage of the international community settled Bosnia as an international protectorate, continuing refusal to incorporate Bosnia and Herzegovina in the contemporary system of nation states.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 17
Anna Matveeva, University of Exeter and King's College London, Igor Savin, Russian Academy of Sciences & Bahrom Faizullaev, Independent Researcher
Kyrgyzstan: Tragedy in the South
This paper is authored by three experts who worked at the international Kyrgyzstan Inquiry Commission, and is based on primary data collected in the field. It argues that political processes and the actions of the authorities cannot exclusively account for the violent clashes that occurred there in June 2010. Rather, the violence emerged out of a growing alienation between the Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities which over time developed a mutual antipathy, and lacked a shared vision of the future. Formal provisions for minorities failed to offset the rising nationalism of the majority group in the South. Political resources and mechanisms for managing interethnic relations had been in steady decline since independence, while politicians came to rely on informal arrangements with Uzbek community leaders. The crisis of April 2010 created a window of opportunity to redefine the place of Uzbeks in the new political order, which their leaders grasped. Surge in criminal rivalries and rapid immigration from the countryside influenced social context, in which violence took place. As interethnic grievances became politicised, the ineptitude of the authorities contributed to the transformation of spontaneous riots into full-scale clashes. A logic of collective insecurities, in both rural and urban contexts, lay behind the actions of both sides. The conflict narratives that emerged in the aftermath continue to feed a situation of a latent conflict, making reconciliation more difficult still.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 18
Gareth Curless, University of Exeter
North–South Relations since South Sudan’s Independence
Following a referendum in January 2011 South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011. Since then relations between Sudan and South Sudan have deteriorated rapidly. Ongoing violence along the North–South border has undermined attempts to resolve outstanding post-referendum issues, including the sharing of oil revenues and the status of Abyei. As of May 2012 neither side is willing to compromise on these unresolved issues. As a result relations between Khartoum and Juba have become increasingly hostile; public statements have become more con-frontational and negotiations on post-referendum issues have been delayed as both parties en-gage in a game of brinkmanship. In response to the current impasse the African Union has called for a conclusion to negotiations but, as this paper demonstrates, the depth of mistrust between the two sides indicates that a quick resolution is unlikely.
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Ethnopolitics Paper No. 19
Amjad Mohamed-Saleem, University of Exeter
Trans-Faith Humanitarianism: A Mechanism for Conflict Resolution
The world is often seen through a singular lens of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and ‘us’ vs. ‘them’. This unhealthy polarisation flavoured by faith, culture and an identity of civilisation has led to popular mobilisations against the West not only from the Third World but also from within the West. This tension is exacerbated by poverty, which is often the key catalyst for global conflicts, and the ethnic/faith identity issue that arises from them generates a vicious cycle. Poverty, inequity, and social injustice are matters of conscience and demand a systematic response. Civil society plays a key role in development, with Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) at the forefront of initiatives aimed at helping to achieve increased tolerance, social cohesion and understanding. This paper highlights practical examples of dialogue and collaboration between two international humanitarian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Muslim Aid. These cases show how different faith communities make natural allies for the promotion and success of cross-border linking and play a part in making humanitarian work more efficient and effective whilst demonstrating that inter-faith cooperation means something practical as well as spiritual.
Ethnopolitics Paper No. 20
Ulrike Barten, University of Southern Denmark
Achieving Utopia? Reconciling Self-Determination with the State
Self-determination and the state are two irreconcilable adversaries – or so the story goes. This story tells us that a claim to self-determination is a claim to statehood, which, not surprisingly, is refuted by the government in whose territory the claim is made. This contribution offers a different view. It offers a model of self-determination that not only reconciles the two adversaries, but provides the basis for a stable self-determination regime that satisfies both the group seeking self-determination and the government. This paper takes international law as its starting point. It is the legal definition of self-determination that needs to be scrutinized. As international law is neither made nor applied in a vacuum, it is important to place the legal definition in a political context. This is done in the development of a model that seeks to reconcile a group’s striving to self-determination with state interests. Both the historical viewpoint and scrutinizing self-determination during decolonization show that self-determination does not equal secession or independent statehood. Self-determination has a very strong internal dimension, which tends to be side-lined. The model of self-determination is based on self-determination as a contract between the group and the state. The rules governing the contract, the gatekeepers, are strict and non-negotiable. The content of the contract, however, the self-determination regime itself, is the object of constant negotiations and compromises between the group and the state. A number of points of discussion are raised after the presentation of the model. The model has not been applied to case studies, yet. This is, of course, the next step to be taken.