Ethnicity as Uncertainty Reducing Behavior
Explaining Acquiescence to Ethnic Violence
Scholars of ethnic violence have moved beyond the traditional primordialist constructivist debate into a much more thorough discussion exploring why mobilizations to violence along ethnic divisions are successful. This debate has sparked insight into many components that help to explain varied motivations for participation in ethnic violence. However, as of yet there has not been a systematic theory that can explain the prevalence of ethnic violence as opposed to violence based upon other categorizations. This paper argues that ethnic mobilization to violence is successful because ethnic identity offers a means of uncertainty reduction in times of chaos that allows people to create more effective risk assessments in their daily interactions. However, ethnic violence will only occur under conditions where more effective risk assessment tools are sufficiently weakened.
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