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THE PRINCIPAL CAUSE OF EVERY ETHNIC CONFLICT IS A COMPETITION FOR THE CONTROL OF TERRITORY, RESOURCES, AND STATUS REWARDS Ethnic diversity, it seems, is here to stay. All attempts so far to homogenize various collectivities have failed. Even the great religious movements like Christianity and Islam, or the Communist movement, have not been able to eradicate differentiation and tribalism. This human diversity may just be a mechanism for the survival of the human species and if so, it should be preserved. It should not, however, be a source of violent ethnic conflict or lead to the destruction of the species. As Harold R. Isaacs has brilliantly pointed out in his IDOLS OF THE TRIBE, we are still in the process of fragmentation of aggregates of separate groups held together by a gravitational force of one dominant group or a coalition of groups that were at the centre. The old European Colonial powers such as England , France , Portugal , and Spain , the Ottoman, Hapsburg and Romanov empires have all fragmented and in their wake left other clusters which continue to fragment. All this happened because the groups in domination position could no longer sustain their power and the groups in the subordination position would no longer submit. This process, described by Isaacs, results in the surfacing of old and new nationalism's and separatism's, all of them striving for regional, cultural, linguistic and political autonomy, all of them demanding recognition as separate and distinct nations. This striving for self-esteem and self-respect brings them in conflict with dominant groups which eventually lead to escalation of such ethnic conflict and inevitable separation.
The international community has been called upon several times recently to stop the terrible massacres that were the culmination of ethnic conflicts. The ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia , Rwanda , and Somalia are just the extreme examples of ethnic conflict getting out of hand. There are numerous ethnic conflicts still going on and many more are to come.
Not all ethnic conflicts are violent. Ethnic conflicts of low intensity may sometimes be beneficial for the society in which they exist (e.g. Canada ). However, in the majority of societies of diverse ethnic population, ethnic conflicts tend to be of relatively high intensity and eventually become violent. The violence of such conflicts may persist for a long periods of time, in some cases decades ( Middle East , Sri Lanka , Sudan ) causing great loss of lives, famine, and ruining of the economy.
I'm proposing to move this article to ethnic conflict. This is a more common term in academic usage, and more articles link to ethnic conflict than to ethnic war. Cordless Larry 20:28, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
- The move is now complete. Thanks to W.marsh for helping with the move. Cordless Larry 12:42, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Merge of "Race war"
The race war article seems unnecessary and redundant, as it can and should be covered here. Ethnic and racial wars are intertwined enough that I think "race war" has to be covered with ethnic conflict. (And the race war article is a stub, which I know isn't a rationale, but it makes it easier to merge.) – 2001:db8:: (rfc | diff) 04:26, 22 August 2012 (UTC)