September 9, 2022
Be able to provide answers to these questions:
Be able to use three kinds of explanations for these questions:
|Item||Number||Fraction of Grade|
|Reading Responses||10||(10*2.5) 25%|
|Short Papers||3||(3*15) 45%|
Contemporary ethnic conflicts are inevitable result of long-standing animosity and rivalry between distinct ethnic groups.
ancient hatred is intrinsic/latent…
“Appropriately, this tract of land is where the tectonic plates of Africa, Asia, and Europe—plates shouldering peoples and religions that have historically been at odds—happen to collide.”
“Here the ethnic hatreds released by the decline of the Ottoman Empire first exploded”
“the ardor of its hatreds — among Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic, and Jew; among Bulgar, Greek, Serb, and Turk — was abruptly, if temporarily, chilled by the advent of stern Communist regimes”
Why is hatred latent?
…because nationality/ethnicity is NATURAL
ethnicity is the product of nature, and people have a natural attachment to them:
“But, as Kemal suspected, Enver and the Young Turks underestimated the force of the many long-repressed nationalisms in the Balkans.”
“Like Macedonia, these other nations are waking up from a Communist stupor to embrace dreams of lost glory”
and the natural self-expression of the nation is through the nation-state:
“Each nation harbors the dream that its borders will revert to those it boasted when the ancient empire it once possessed was at the zenith of expansion.”
“What the Bulgarians and the Serbs have always demanded … is that with the retreat of the region’s longtime rulers, the Ottoman Turks, the frontiers recognized when they came in should be re-established, in spite of the lapse of five centuries.”
“While Serbia and Croatia are easily imaginable as nation-states Macedonia represents a political no-man’s land where Serbian, Albanian, Bulgarian, and Greek ambitions vie with one another and with a nascent Macedonian nationalist movement”
and because tendency to ethnicity is “natural”, most evident in “backward” places:
“Zagreb is an urbane, ethnically uniform community on the plain, while Bosnia is a morass of ethnically mixed villages in the mountains. Bosnia is rural, isolated, and full of suspicions and hatreds to a degree that the sophisticated Croats of Zagreb could barely imagine.”
“Bosnia did have one sophisticated urban center, however: Sarajevo, where Croats, Serbs, Muslims, and Jews had traditionally lived together in reasonable harmony. But the villages all around were full of savage hatreds”
Conflict emerges because groups have natural claims over the same places that are incompatible.
While education, modernization, or oppressive regimes might keep ethnic conflict at bay, eventually the “cauldron” boils over.
Ancient hatreds thesis relies on an essentialist conception of ethnicity:
membership in a descent-based group that
e.g. “The Serbs”, “The Croats”, “The Bosnians” each have an essence, can be described as believing, thinking, doing as one
Yet, at the very same time, Kaplan…
Essentialist conception of ethnicity is used by nationalist political actors.
In fact, Kaplan sounds like Serbian nationalists on why peaceful coexistence was not possible: “too much hatred, centuries-old hatreds.”
This thesis more or less a strawman:
Why engage with it?