November 3, 2021
In depth look at 1984 Delhi Riot (pogrom) shows:
Retaining these insights:
What is ethnic violence?
What are the causes of ethnic violence?
Gutierrez-Sanin and Wood (2017) argue that a pattern of violence employed by a group/organization in some place over a period of time is characterized by its…
forms of violence in which an organization/individual regularly engages
killing, torture, forced displacement, rape, robbery, kidnapping/imprisonment, vandalism, etc.
which people or social groups are made the targets of specific repertoires of violence (not motive as much as, descriptively, who are the victims)
ethnic groups, genders, political groups, combatants, political rivals, people who fail to comply with rules, etc.
violence against an individual because of specific allegations about their behavior or actions
assassinations, disappearance of political activists, etc.
violence against individuals based on their membership in a social group.
This kind of violence is connected to social boundaries: violence happens along the boundary because it targets people based on the categories they are labelled with
ethnic cleansing; supporters of a political party; shelling cities with ethnic majorities; bombing villages held by insurgents
violence against individuals without regard to individual behavior or membership in social categories
bombing of entire villages?
Rarely is violence entirely indiscriminate
how a repertoire of violence is performed
murder by firing squad, massacre using knives, bombing, torture to death, disappearance;
the count or rate of victimization among specific groups in the population
fraction of Rwandan genocide victims that were Tutsi
What makes a pattern of violence ethnic?
On one hand…
On the other hand…
Hungarian soccer fans injured by Slovakian soccer fans in 1995: not seen as ethnic. (Brubaker and Laitin 2004)
Estonian-language school burned down in Russian-speaking region of Estonia: seen as Mafia activity, not ethnic violence (Brubaker and Laitin 2004)
Police violence against villagers in Narayanpur, UP. Politicians draw attention to it as against lower caste/Muslims; ignoring other similar events nearby (Brass 1997)
In addition to the pattern of violence (what was actually done), it matters how violence is perceived:
Whether or not violence is seen as ethnic…
And so we observe great effort by perpetrators, victims, others to narrate and use frames that either justify or condemn violence.
Why does ethnic framing of violence happen?
definition (adapted from Brubaker and Laitin 2004)
violence perpetrated across or within ethnic lines, in which at least one party is not a state (or a representative of a state), and in which putative ethnic differences or similarities are coded—by perpetrators, targets, other parties, or analysts—as having been integral rather than incidental to the violence, that is, in which the violence is coded as having been meaningfully oriented in some way to the ethnicity of the target.
Another perspective on ethnic violence is to ask:
How does violence relate to ethnic boundaries?
\(3.\) Violence and Boundaries: how does violence relate to ethnic boundary structure?
Next class: applying these three ideas to police violence in the United States.