Dominant Ethnicity

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					            Dominant
             Ethnicity
Majority Groups, Dominant
Minorities and Conflict

Eric Kaufmann
Birkbeck College,
University of London
Omission in Current
Literature
   Nation and dominant ethnie conflated
    in popular mind and in the scholarly
    literature (i.e. French in France;
    Japanese in Japan)
   Parochialism (ethnic as 'other' in US
    literature); homogeneous states in
    Europe occlude ethnie-nation link
   nationalism, citizenship, migration,
    ethnic studies, political theory equate
    ethnic = minority (i.e. MAR)
   Dominant group is not background, but
    an active sub-national player
The View from MAR:
UK, France, USA
           Are there no English in
            Britain? No French in
            France? No Whites in the
            USA?
           Is there not something
            different about N.I.
            Catholics and U.K.
            Muslims?
           What of Corsicans in
            Corsica vs on mainland?
Problem of Ontological Dominance
 Primary v Secondary Groups. Does
  group consider itself indigenous? I.e.
  the ontologically dominant group
 Gurr & Harff (1994) – German Turks
  and Malay Chinese (secondary) are
  considered alongside Kurds and
  Miskito Indians (primary) to form
  model
    Dominant Ethnicity
   Ethnic group (primary/secondary) vs
    nation
   Schermerhorn 1970 - 'dominant
    majority', 'dominant minority'
   Smith 1986 - 'core ethnie'. 1991 -
    'dominant ethnie.'
   Other terms: 'staatsvolk', 'host society',
    'charter group', 'herrenvolk democracy',
    etc.
Dominant Minority Ethnicity
   Obvious in the multi-ethnic empires
    (Rome, Ottoman, Habsburg, later British,
    French, Dutch empires)
   Can also think of ethnic states as having
    dominant minorities since peasantry had
    localised identity (i.e. medieval/early
    modern France, Scotland, Spain, Sweden,
    Hungary, Poland)
   Ethnically-conscious elite, masses speak
    range of languages or dialects
    From Dominant Minorities
    to Dominant Majorities
   Rise of the Nation-
    State elevates
    dominant majority
   Ethnic exclusion
    (Wimmer 2002)
   Democratisation
    replaces dynastic
    legitimacy
   Secession from
    empire and
    multiethnic states
Dominant Minorities in
Modern States
   Colonisers favour certain minorities (i.e.
    Tutsi, Sunni, Maronite, white settler)
   Postcolonial power structure
   Authoritarian regimes:
       Control Military and elite
       Strong security apparatus (ie Mukhabarat)
       Legitimising 'civic' nationalist ideology
     Dominant Minority Ethnicity
     and National Identity
   Wider national identity,
    despite narrow ethnic
    power base
   Pan-Arabism and
    socialism (Syria, Iraq,
    Jordan)
   Pan-Africanism and
    socialism (Ghana,
    Tanzania)
   Islamism (Iran, Taliban
    Afghanistan)
    Second Delegitimisation of
    Dominant Minorities
   Suffer From new 'Third Wave' of
    democratisation post-1989
   End of Cold War removes socialism as
    missionary ideology of the nation; also pan-
    Africanism, pan-Arabism - though Islamism
    strengthens
   Minorities deposed (i.e. Americo-Liberians,
    Afrikaners, Rhodesians, Tutsi in Burundi,
    Serbs in Kosovo)
   Or lose status (i.e. Anglos in Quebec after
    1960, English in Scotland, Spanish in
    Catalonia, Maronites in Lebanon)
Iraq: From Dominant Minority to
Dominant Majority
Still a Few Dominant
Minorities Today
   Alawi in Syria, Sunni in Bahrain,
    Tutsi in Rwanda, Gulf Arabs in
    Kuwait/UAE – authoritarianism,
    gerrymandering, exclusive
    citizenship. Under pressure.
                                                            % Largest Group
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                                  b



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Source: Vanhanen 1999
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                                                                                           Largest Ethnic Group (%), 151 Countries, 1998




                                    H
                               N aiti
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The Shadowy Nature of
Dominant Ethnicity
   Must look not only at state elites, but at
    the often informal structures of
    dominant ethnicity
   USA, until 1960s: WASPs 80-90% of
    top economic, government, military
    positions, despite just 30-40 pc of total
       Restrictive Immigration Laws
       Rural-urban malapportionment
       Covert discrimination against Catholics,
        Jews; overt v. nonwhites
       Blacks disenfranchised in South through
        literacy tests, poll taxes
Dominant Ethnic Violence
   Can be linked to
    demographic change
   Serbian aggression in
    Bosnia and Kosovo,
    1992-4, 1999
   Coup in Fiji, 2000
   Thailand, Oct. 2004
    violence
   India: Mumbai 1992-
    3, Gujarat 2002,
    Assam 1980s
   Cote D'Ivoire, 2002
Theorising Dominant Ethnic
Violence
   Dominant ethnic outbidding by hardliners.
    Checks moderation (Horowitz)
       Paisley in NI
       United Iraqi Alliance under pressure from Shia
        grassroots for revenge against Sunnis
       BJP/RSS v Congress in India
       Estonian nationalist party gains after Bronze
        soldier riot of April 2007
Dominant Ethnicity and
Secessionist Violence
   Not just minorities v state
   Dominant ethnie often backs state v. minorities,
    stoking grievances:
       Ulster-Protestants call for no concessions and
        crackdown on Catholics, 1966-72
       Sinhala-Only movement drove Tamils to revolt
       Popularity of Chechen war among ethnic Russians, not
        just the state
       Role of diaspora (i.e. India; Croatia; Israel, Serbia)
   Key Q: Does state act in national interest or
    dominant ethnic interest?
2 Species of Ethnic Violence
 Nazis vs Basques
 Type I: Separatist Violence
 Type II: Dominant Ethnic Violence –
  sparked by rising numbers, power of
  minorities OR fabricated hysteria
  (sometimes genocidal)
 A relationship, but analytically
  distinct
  Puzzle: Why are violent minorities
  so often regional?




*Note that 519 MAR groups (61%) have a base, 333
groups (39%) do not.
      ..And Why Don‟t Immigrants Rebel?
   “Once state level variables      Average rebel score
                                     (number of observations)
    are included in MAR                                        YES       NO
    specifications, the only
    group-level variables that
    consistently come out as      Has the Group Been in the
                                  Country Since 1800?
                                                                2.9
                                                              (n=248)
                                                                          1.0
                                                                        (n=50)
    significant predictors of
    civil war onsets are those    Does the Group have a         2.9       1.1

    associated with the           Regional Base?              (n=276)   (n=123)


    geographical concentration    For Groups with a             3.3       2.3
    of the group population       Regional Base, Has the
                                  Group Faced Competition
                                                              (n=34)    (n=203)

    and its dispersion over a     for Vacant Land in the
                                  1980s?
    regional base.”-F&L 2009
Varieties of Dominant
Ethnicity
 Majorities or minorities
 Dominance of state or sub-state
  nation
 Economic, Political, Cultural,
  Demographic, Ontological
 Indigenousness (Smith; Horowitz)
  and power (Schermerhorn, Doane)
 S. Caribbean cases demonstrate
Ontological dominance is necessary,
even if not sufficient
   Immigrant groups are not primary ethnic groups, do
    not occupy „homeland‟
   Primary ethnic groups have a concept of sacralized
    homeland, and, if „awakened‟ by nationalism, seek
    to render ethnic homeland and politics congruent,
    i.e. to be the dominant ethnic group in „their‟
    homeland
   Some rebellious groups have lost their home base
    but still seek it (i.e. almost all nonterritorial rebels
    are indigenous peoples, not aggrieved migrant
    groups)
   Almost no cases of purely grievance-based or
    opportunistic rebellions
   If a foreign invader came, who would be most likely
    to resist? Trading minority or „Indigenous‟ group
        Dominant Ethnicity in the
        West
   West: Norms of Cultural liberalism/ Universal
    personhood and Civic Nationalism, leading
    to:
       Anti-Immigrant violence
       Rise of Far Right
       'White Flight'
   Dominant majorities shrinking – will they
    become dominant minorities?
   Unlikely: assimilation seems to have widened
    ethnic boundaries (ie US whites, Mestizos in
    Latin America)
Normative Questions
 Dominant majority ethnicity
  necessary for stable power sharing
  systems? (O' Leary 2001)
 Is the ethnicity of a dominant group
  worth consideration/preservation?
 Can we have a liberal form of
  dominant ethnicity? (i.e. a liberal
  'national ethnicity')
                      http://www.kpdata.com/epk/index.html




http://www.politicsarena.co.uk/politicsarena/books/pol_books.htm
Data Sets
   Country/year
       6,327 observations from 1945-99, with all
        countries >500,000 population
       Onset as dependent variable
       127 onsets
   Group country (Minorities at Risk)
       357 groups (Kurds/Iraq; Kurds/Iran;
        Kurds/Turkey are three distinct observations)
       Rebellion as dependent variable (8-point
        ordinal scale from none reported to protracted
        civil war)
       Since 1945, 198 groups never had >0; 127
        groups had >3 (our criteria for a civil war
        rebellion).
Conclusions from Country/Year
Dataset
   What differentiates countries that have suffered from civil
    wars from those that have not?

     States   that signal weakness
       [low GDP; new state; changed
       institutions; oil]
   What can we learn from correlations about the causes of
    civil wars?

     No  support for Clash of
       Civilizations or Level of
       Grievances
      Geographical Concentration
                                       Average rebel score
   Once state level variables         (number of observations)
    are included in MAR
    specifications, the only                                  YES       NO

    group-level variables that
    consistently come out as
    significant predictors of
                                 Has the Group Been in the     2.9       1.0
                                 Country Since 1800?         (n=248)   (n=50)

    civil war onsets are those
    associated with the          Does the Group have a         2.9       1.1

    geographical
                                 Regional Base?              (n=276)   (n=123)


    concentration of the
    group population and
                                 For Groups with a             3.3       2.3
                                 Regional Base, Has the      (n=34)    (n=203)

    its dispersion over a
                                 Group Faced Competition
                                 for Vacant Land in the
    regional base.               1980s?
Sons-of-the-Soil and Civil War
Onsets
   When facing government supported
    internal migration that threatens their
    regional predominance, we call groups
    that have a regional base “sons of the
    soil”.
   Sixteen of 127 civil wars have been
    motivated, at least in part, by sons of soil
    insurgents, and these tend to be the
    longest by a factor of 5.
   This paper seeks to explain the causes of
    these wars, in a way that is consistent
    with our general findings about civil war
Sons-of-Soil Wars
   Chakma peoples in the Chitttagong Hills of
    Bangladesh,
   Nagas and other “tribals” in Northeast India,
   Moros in the Philippines,
   Tamils in the North and East in Sri Lanka,
   Uighurs in Xinjiang province, and Tibetans in
    China,
   Mons and Karens in Burma,
   Sindhis against the Mohajirs around Karachi in
    Pakistan,
   Bougainvilleans in Papua New Guinea,
   West Papuans and Achenese in Indonesia,
   Tuaregs in Mali.
What Explains Sons-of-Soil
Wars?
   (1) Territorial Imperative – a branch of a clash
    of civilization argument
       Can‟t explain failure of most tribals to mount a civil war
        in the face of settlement by dominant group (Bushmen;
        Native Americans; Chota Nagpur)
   (2) Most sons-of-soil wars are in Asia, where
    population density is greatest of all regions,
    suggesting that the origins of the conflict
    concern scarce land – favoring a grievance story.
   (3) Regional concentration as a form of “rough
    terrain” – a branch of the conditions that favor
    insurgency argument
…and Power
   What about dominant minorities in a
    state?
   Aspects of dominance: demographic,
    cultural, economic, political
   What about locally-dominant minorities
    (i.e. pur laine Quebecois and Scots
    Protestants but not Tibetans)
   Do they dominate home region? On which
    aspects?
Why „Sons-of-Soil‟ Wars?
   High Asian population density. Resource
    conflict
   Regional concentration linked to „rough
    terrain‟. Tactical advantage
   Territorial Imperative can‟t explain cases
    of inaction by tribals (Bushmen; Native
    Americans; Chota Nagpur)
   Yes – but why don‟t immigrants rebel?

				
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