History

Ethnic Conflict and Multiculturalism

The author presents a wide range of examples to support the aforementioned thesis. By perusing relevant scholarship, the author does make a persuasive case for the superiority of ethnonational bonds over patriotic bonds. The notion of common ethnicity has played a significant role throughout the history of human civilization, whereas patriotism, as is presently understood, is a relatively new phenomenon – only with the emergence of modern democratic institutions and the establishment of nation-states did patriotism gain currency in political discourse.While the reading is not didactic, the author does suggest some key lessons. For example, W. Connor gives examples from the era of fascism during the 1930s to support his claim that ethnonational feeling is stronger in nature than patriotism. If one were to classify all such examples given by the author, it becomes evident that the concept of ethnonationalism has more often than not been abused by astute political leaders to gain power. If one were to evaluate ethnonationality role in human history, it would appear that it has generally been a destructive force. While admitting that patriotism is no more benign than ethnonationalism, I came away with the impression that these vague conceptions are anachronistic to the realities of contemporary world polity.D. Ronen’s scholarly work The Quest for Self-Determination further explicates the nature of ethnic and national identities. In order to illustrate the complexities involved in ethnic and national identities, Ronen constructs a new conceptual framework which he calls aggregations. According to this theory, political discourses relating to human communities refer to the latter from one of two perspectives.

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