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Ethnic Conflict The Deadly Ethnic Riot Notes

The Social Environment for Killing


Horowitz

Facilitation of violence =
o Uncertainty (when aggressors find ethnic politics is dangerously in flux)
o Impunity (think that violence will result in no negative consequences)
o Justification (violence is warranted)
Horowitz wont go into
o Food prices = food riots
o Economic decline
o In-migration of ethnic strangers
Idea that large influx of ethnics increases competition/drives down wages etc
Often political, not economic
In Zaire migrants were nonviolent until electoral implications

Interregna

Says that many sociologists say that times of transition = most potential for violence
Example: During war, civilians are disciplined, sacrifice, live routines
Postwar, short period of anarchy
War brings about ideas
When there is an absence of authority interregna
o When normal govt is suspended, especially between successive reigns/regimes
With no fear of authority, people act extremely
Post WW2 example:
o Taiwan was taken over by China after being freed of Japanese occupation
o Last year of Japanese occupation in Thailand, new Thai regime reversed many antiChinese policies
o Chinese Nationalist govt also stated intention to play more prominent role in Thailands
internal affairsThai Chinese were given reason to think their political position might be
altered as a result of external intervention on their behalf
o Yaowarat riotThais attach Chinese, reflecting transitional expectations
Chinese flag was flown without the Thai colors
Major regime changes in general provide opportunities for riot
o Include a change in authority relations, an old regime dying, or a new regime not yet
bornone sided outcomes become possible

Decline of Multiethnic Parties/Coalitions

If political change and uncertainty = ethnic violence, then disintegration of multiethnic party will
definitely do so
In many divided countries, party = ethnicity
Also, often multiethnic parties often soln to riots
Can be reciprocalin Hyderabad, there had been a riot months before the banning of the
Congress. Withdrawal of Congress from the field removed the only organization with the
ambition of interethnic conciliation

Fluctuations in Policy

Policy fluctuations on ethnic issues are conducive to violence


o A colonial policy encouraging conflicting expectations of both self-govt and repression
was likely to generate more anticolonial violence than a colonial policy encouraging
either one or the other
o Ex. Authoritarian to democratic often caused anticolonial violenceconflicting
expectations of subject peoples
Sri Lanka
o Bandaranaike was vacillating
o Sinhala only program, also aimed to protect Tamils from discrimination from his own
supporters, etc.

Authoritative Tolerance, Acquiescence, or Condonation


o

Maybe most significant facilitator: authoritative social support for group violence
Conduct from political authorities/social superiors
Social support = conduct construed by the participants in violence as leading
tacit (understood or implied without being stated)

Biased or Ineffective Instruments of Public Order

In many riots, there rioters expect lethargy/sympathy from public order


Police passivity with killers is often strong
o Sometimes police participate
o Police ineffectiveness or bias is widespread in ethnic riots

Inhibition and Disinhibition


o

Multiethnic society cracks when doubts arise about illegitimacy of violence.

Absence of Remorse

Rioting is commonly approved in the wider society. Missed by people who assume that
all right-thinking people condemn violence.