Ethnic Conflict and Mobilization 

Undergraduate. Fall 2018.

The class is devoted to understanding the role of ethnicity in violence and conflict regulation. The class takes students through some of the main theoretical families used to understand the political dynamics of ethnic identification and nationalism. In particular, we will address the following questions: Are national or ethnic political stances adopted for rational or non-rational reasons? Is ethnic war rational? Do elites manipulate masses, or does nationalism and ethnic conflict grow from grass roots sentiments?  If the elites sell it, why do the masses buy? Are ethnic conflicts different from non-ethnic ones? Why people fight for their ethnic group? When ethnic loyalties in conflict are betrayed? Is it better to partition a war-torn multiethnic territory like Syria or to try to reintegrate it into a single, unified, multicultural state? Is religion different from ethnicity and why does it play such a prominent role in political violence?