Topics in Comparative Politics
Ethnic and Communal Violence
This course provides a framework for understanding and analyzing the causes of ethnic and communal violence. Using a comparative approach, this course is structured around two questions: 1) How do people come to hold certain identities and how do they become politically relevant? 2) How do these identities drive and influence processes of violence? The first part of the course introduces students to the literature on identity formation and the major theoretical approaches to explaining ethnic and communal violence. The second part of the course is empirical. Students will apply key concepts and theories learned in the first part of the course to a number of in-depth case studies. Cases are diverse in terms of geographic area (Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and Europe), time period, and forms of violence (genocide, civil war, riots).
Format and Requirements
Class participation, reading summaries/responses, research paper
1.0 POL credit