The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy, and International Conflict

By Stephen M. Saideman | Go to book overview

6
Quantitative Analyses of Ethnic Conflict's
International Relations

In the previous chapters, studies of secessionist crises indicate that ethnic politics more consistently and more powerfully conditions states' behavior than the other explanations. However, one could wonder how significant these results are or whether they apply beyond secessionist conflicts to other kinds of conflicts. This chapter, by using data from the case studies and from the Minorities at Risk [MAR] Datasets, addresses these concerns.

First, simple cross-tabulations indicate which factors produce significant correlations using data from the case studies in the preceding chapters. Second, basic trends in international support of ethnic groups in the 1990s suggest that fears of precedents, an expectation of the vulnerability thesis, were not well placed. Third, the MAR data allows us to determine which groups are more likely to receive support, telling us something about the competing hypotheses. Finally, I evaluate whether particular kinds of states are more likely to support ethnic groups at risk. Because the ethnic ties approach is difficult to operationalize with the available data, the clearest findings of the analyses do more to challenge vulnerability and realist arguments than to lend support to the ethnic ties argument.


The Findings of the Case Studies

To be clear, any statistical findings from the case studies have limited value, since there are relatively few cases and their selection was not random.

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