The Ethnic Question in the World Crisis
The struggle of ethnic groups for recognition, equality or autonomy within the framework of an existing territorial state, or for independence from such a state, is not a recent phenomenon. Such endeavours, which are sometimes accompanied by violent conflict, have been inherent in the process of state-formation and nation-building which emerged in the Western world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While they were widespread in Europe during that time, they also occurred after the break-up of the Tsarist, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires (and were, indeed, partly responsible for the disintegration of these empires) at the end of the First World War. Again, such struggles appeared in the aftermath of decolonization during the 1960s, within the successor states of the European empires in Africa and Asia. Once more, we are witnessing the re-emergence of ethnic conflicts as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Yugoslav Federation in the early 1990s.
KeywordsEthnic Group Indigenous People Ethnic Conflict Territorial State Ethnic Nation
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