The Global Dynamics of Racial and Ethnic Mobilization

The Global Dynamics of Racial and Ethnic Mobilization

The Global Dynamics of Racial and Ethnic Mobilization

The Global Dynamics of Racial and Ethnic Mobilization

Excerpt

My purpose in undertaking this research is to offer an examination of theoretical arguments that focus on the global scope of racial and ethnic events as they have unfolded in the contemporary period. As most scholars know, the majority of research on ethnic movements has generated numerous case studies with rich historical detail, but it has not generated much in the ways of generalizable and testable propositions. Moreover, scholars have focused mainly on local factors of inequality, ethnic entrepreneurs, or failed state structures to explain outbreaks of violence or protest. Because relatively few theoretical arguments at the global level have been offered, country-level analysis has dominated the study of ethnic conflicts, protest, and violence. In this book I argue that there are specific advantages to moving away from a sole concern with local mechanisms that spark ethnic conflict and protest. By emphasizing global processes that link the fates of movements and the states they challenge, I find that country- and group-level factors are just part of the story.

My argument holds that to the degree that states participate in world organizations, ethnic mobilization will be more likely. Beyond this ethnic activation process, national economic and political factors further channel the form that mobilization will take. Thus, I seek to contribute to the existing literature, which has largely ignored the global context of ethnic movements. I explore two different data sets on ethnic conflict and protest to achieve this end. One source of information is the Minorities at Risk data set, painstakingly collected and updated by Ted Gurr and his associates. These data provide categorical information on ethnic mobilization that addresses questions about the magnitude and scope of ethnic protest and conflict. Because the data were collected at the ethnic-group level, they allow researchers the flexibility of moving from ethnic-group to national levels of analysis. My second data set on ethnic conflict and protest was provided to me by Doug Bond . . .

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