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Linking Ethnic Conflict & Democratization: An Assessment of Four Troubled Regions

Number 6
Project Number IP 3 (Phase I): Democratizing divided societies in bad neighborhoods
Author(s) Lutz Krebs / Dominic Senn / Judith Vorrath
Current draft June 2007
Abstract Ethnic divisions have long been linked to civil war and recent history seems full of examples. However, the mechanisms that lead a society down the path of ethnic conflict are not yet fully understood. This working paper presents the results of a series of workshops discussing the link between ethnicity and conflict under the condition of regime change. Based on contributions of area experts for four regions - the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Great Lakes of Africa and the Middle East – this paper tries to answer four guiding questions: Is there a link between ethnicity and conflict? Are there transnational spillover effects? Does democratization contribute to ethnic violence? And are there institutional solutions for divided societies?
Keywords civil war, conflict spread, democratization, ethnic violence, politicized ethnicity, political institutions, African Great Lakes, Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East
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