Ethnic Conflict Assignment

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Ethnic Conflict Assignment
Ethnicity stirs human emotions that, under certain circumstances, can erupt into public display, civil disturbances, even open political conflict. Your mission is to investigate the cause, nature, and extent of tension in a location of your choice and to create a four-paragraph (minimum) briefing on the conflict for the class.

Include maps, graphics, and photos. Make sure to include the following:

  • Ethnic groups are involved

  • Causes of the conflict (be specific- and remember, there are often multiple causes)

  • An outline of major/notable events connected to the conflict

  • Your opinion on which group has the stronger claim (which group is “right”?) This is subjective, and there is no “right” answer. Be sure to explain why you think so.

  • An acceptable solution to the conflict (acceptable to both sides) and explain why you think this would work.

Use the chart on the back of this page to guide your investigation.

The countries listed below have a history of tension or conflict rooted in issues of ethnic difference.

  • Armenia/Azerbaijan

  • Bosnia/Serbia/Kosovo

  • China (Tibet)

  • Cambodia

  • Congo (ONGOING)

  • Cyprus

  • Darfur/Chad & Sudan (ONGOING)

  • Ethiopia/Eritrea

  • Israel/Palestine/Gaza Strip (ONGOING)

  • Indonesia (Aceh)

  • Indonesia (Timor)

  • Kashmir

  • Kenya

  • Kosovo

  • Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites (Iraq)

  • Lebanon

  • Mexico (Chiapas)

  • N. Ireland

  • Nigeria (ONGOING)

  • Pakistan

  • Philippines (Mindanao)

  • Quebec (French Canada)

  • Russia (Chechnya)

  • Rwanda (historical)

  • Spain (Basque, Catalonia)

  • Sri Lanka

  • Uganda

  • Zimbabwe (ONGOING)

  • South Africa (historical)


What lies at the root of this conflict?

What form does this conflict take (i.e., tension, discrimination, open violence)?

What is the spatial extent of the conflict?

How long has there been tension or conflict?

In what ways has this conflict been manifested?

How many people have been affected? In what ways?

Examples of how this conflict presents itself at a global, regional and local scale:

Some help in starting the investigation …
IMPORTANT - If you decide to “Google” this assignment make sure you critically evaluate the variety of resources that may turn up in an open search! Make sure you cite your sources! All information used from the Internet and other sources MUST be properly cited. See me if you do not know proper MLA citation style. Any assignments with plagiarized material will receive no credit. Branch of the UN that deals with refugees and human rights. Human Security report gateway. Excellent resource.

Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity (INCORE): This organization sponsor research that deals with conflict resolution, especially that of ethnic conflict.

European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI):  A non-partisan, bi-national institution that attempts to facilitate peaceful relations between ethnic groups.

Ethnic Conflict Research Digest: This site "publishes peer reviews of recently published books, journal articles and research papers on the dynamics and management of ethnic conflict."

Human Rights Watch: An organization dedicated to the documentation and elimination of human rights violations around the world. This site contains information about ethnic conflict in Sudan, in addition to historical background.

Ethnic Conflict, Migration, and Nationalism: This site contains a number of links where visitors can gather more information. Great comprehensive resource!

Ethnic Conflict: This is a collection of writings that deal with ethnic conflict.

World’s Apart: The Roots of Ethnic Conflict:
Ethnic Conflict in the Former Soviet Union:

  • [click on “world” in the news bar. When asked to register it is free!]

  • [click on “world” and then use the site search engine. If asked to register it is free!]

  • [use the site search engine]

  • [use the site search engine]

  • Newspapers from around the world. Pretty cool! Click on the Regions drop down menu. Some foreign papers are printed in English. You have to check them out to see which ones you can read.

The map collection at the University of Texas Perry Castañeda Library is a great place to start a search for maps:

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