Identifying Potential Ethnic Conflict: Application of a Process Model
Jan 1, 2000
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This report provides a practical tool — a guidebook and a methodology to follow — to help intelligence analysts determine the long-term potential for communitarian and ethnic conflict. It is based on a conceptual model of group conflict. The three-stage model traces the development of ethnic and communitarian strife, beginning with the conditions that may lead to the formation of an ethnic group, then the group's mobilization for political action, and ultimately its competition with the state. The main body of the handbook is formatted as a series of questions and guidelines for the analyst to consider while preparing an assessment. An appendix provides a full theoretical explanation of the model. As its goal is to provide a tool to help intelligence analysts predict whether a competition between an ethnic group and the state will end in violence, the model supplies a series of matrices to help identify the conditions that may lead to ethnic and communitarian strife.
The Model: A Summary
Questions and Guidelines for the Analyst
The Theoretical Model
"The basic model is relatively simple and is constructed as a methodology rather than a theory…It is presented with admirable crispness, and its use is explained in a 'how to' section…The model's main strengths are its neatness and the wide range of applicability. This book is useful for showing how the study of these issues is progressing in official circles, and is equally useful as a contribution to the basic literature on causes of conflict and early warning. This all adds up to a concise volume worth reading, and a model worth testing."
- Journal of Peace Research
The research was sponsored by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, U.S. Army, and was conducted in the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND's Arroyo Center.
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