The Significance of Ethnic Conflicts in a State: Understanding Identity Rifts

Categories: Conflict

Ethnic Conflicts are a very important issue that can affect a whole country/state. Ethnic conflicts within a state belong to identity conflicts which are a type of internal conflict. Sometimes the term ethnic conflict is used to describe a large range of internal conflicts. Before talking about ethnic conflict, it is important to know the meaning of ethnicity. Ethnic groups usually have collectivity or psychological communities that share a combination of historical experience and valued cultural traits - beliefs, culture and religion, language, ways of life, and a common homeland.

Ethnic conflicts can be defined as conflicts between ethnic groups within a multi-ethnic state, which have been going on for some time. Many ethnic conflicts result in a significant loss of life, a serious denial of basic human rights, and considerable material destruction, some escalating into inter-ethnic or internal war. The desire for secession or independence from an existing state, the demand for greater power within a state, or recognition and protection of minority interests within a society are three general issues of ethnic conflicts.

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An ethnic conflict is usually between two major groups fighting for the power or sovereignty of a country, state, or territory.

The protagonists in the most intense ethnic conflicts want to establish their independence. A minority group might insist on seceding and establishing its own independent state. It might demand an independent state within a confederation of states, or might insist on an independent political entity within a new federal structure. The antagonist ethnic groups will not be able to agree on new constitutional ideas or a peaceful separation because the group does not want to lose its power over the other group.

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These kinds of ethnic disputes consequently become violent, some escalate into an all-out war which tears the country/state apart.

Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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The Significance of Ethnic Conflicts in a State: Understanding Identity Rifts. (2016, Dec 24). Retrieved from

The Significance of Ethnic Conflicts in a State: Understanding Identity Rifts essay
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