Approved by University Studies Sub-Committee.  A2C2 action pending.

University Studies Course Approval Form

  Department or Program Political Science and Public Administration
  Course Number 225
  Semester Hours 3 (three)
  Frequency of Offering Once every fall semester
  Course Title Ethnic Conflict and Nationalism
  Catalog Description

This course provides an overview of the factors that lead to ethnic conflict and the strategies that can be employed to resolve them. It discusses the relationship between the theory of nationalism and ethnic conflict, the recent trends in such conflicts, and the factors that facilitate, or militate against, their resolution.

  This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2 Yes
  This is a new course proposal No
  University Studies Requirement this course would satisfy Multicultural Perspectives (Unity & Diversity)
  Department Contact Person Yogesh Grover (457-5415)

ygrover@winona.edu

 

Course Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse patterns of thought, values, and beliefs as manifest in different cultures;
  2. This course is about conflict between different ethnic groups. It seeks to gain an understanding of why ethnic conflicts occur and how they can be resolved. Although conflict is generally considered a political phenomenon, ethnic conflict is based on differences in cultures. Ethnic groups, based as they are on factors such as language, religion, race or tribe etc., are cultural groups and the dominant thought behind such conflicts is nationalism, which characterizes cultural conflicts worldwide. Students are exposed to the theory of nationalism, the values and strategies which enable some cultural groups to live in harmony (as in the US), and values and strategies which contribute to conflict and widespread destruction of human life.

  3. Understand the extent to which cultural differences influence the interpretation and expression of events, ideas, and experiences;
  4. One of the major objectives of this course is to enable the students to understand by ethnic conflicts occur. Students learn that ethnic conflicts are essentially cultural conflicts and they occur because, among other reasons, different cultural groups interpret history in ways in which they establish mutually exclusive claims to land and resources. So, for purposes of this course, intercultural conflict is the major experience for many groups and it is partly the result of different interpretation of ideas and historical events.

  5. Understand the extent to which cultural differences influence the interactions between individuals and/or groups;
  6. In this course students learn why language differences are somewhat easier to resolve than religious differences. Some course topics discuss why conflict is endemic within certain religions (Islam) and not in others (Christianity and Hinduism). Although nationalism is a universal phenomenon, cultural differences explain why this force has assumed such a virulent form in some regions of the world (Africa) and not in others (Western Europe and North America.

  7. Examine different cultures through their various expressions; and/or
  8. The focus of this course is not directly on learning about different cultures. Rather it is on an overwhelming reality of our times, e.g., how cultures in the process of expressing themselves come into conflict with each other. The focus of the course is also on the different strategies that can be used to resolve such conflicts.

  9. Possess the skills necessary for interaction with someone from a different culture or cultural group

The general conclusion of the course is that according to empirical evidence cultural groups coexist in harmony in those situations which cultural leaders advocate tolerance and cultural autonomy, and that conflict inevitably occurs in those settings in which cultural leaders seek their own dominance, and the subordination or annihilation of others. Students read about specific case studies which clearly suggest that acknowledging the validity of other cultures and allowing all cultural groups their cultural space is not only has a practical value of contributing to peace, but also the social value of human enrichment.

 

 

 

 

PS 225

ETHNIC CONFLICT AND NATIONALISM

 

(The picture on the left is taken from the cover of a text called State and Nation in Multi-ethnic Societies.

The picture on the right is taken from the cover of text called Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict & Democracy)

 

Political Science and Public Administration

Fall 2001, MWF 12:00-12:50

Instructor: Dr. Yogesh Grover

Office: Minne 122

e-mail: ygrover@winona.edu

Phone: 457-5415

Office Hours: MWF 11:00-noon; 1:00-2:00 p.m.

TR 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Required Text

People Versus States: Minorities at Risk in the New Century by Ted Robert Gurr.

United States Institute of Peace Press, 2000

 

GENERAL COURSE OBJECTIVES

 

This course deals with the predominant form of conflicts of our times. These conflicts are ethnic conflicts and the driving force behind them is nationalism. There are very few societies which are not experiencing at least one of these conflicts. Many of these conflicts have become humanitarian disasters causing tremendous pain and suffering to millions of innocent people. The purpose of this course is to try to understand why these conflicts occur and what can be done to resolve them.

This course falls under the Multicultural Perspectives category of Unity and Diversity part of the new Universities Studies Program. However, it is a unique course in the sense that, unlike other courses in this category, it is not intended to gain an understanding of a particular culture or a group of cultures. Rather it seeks to demonstrate that different cultures often do not live in peace with each other although in some parts of the world ethnic conflicts have subsided considerably. It behooves us to try to understand why cultural groups are able to live in harmony in some parts of the world and not in others.

In this course we will:

  bulletdefine some key concepts like culture, ethnicity, nation, nationalism, and state bulletidentify the various factors that cause cultural conflicts bulletexamine the conditions in which such conflicts get exacerbated (internal and external), bulletanalyze the consequences of such conflicts (again internal and external), and bulletdiscuss the strategies that can be employed to reduce the intensity of such conflicts, if not eliminate them.

 

UNIVERSITY STUDIES PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

The university has approved this course as one that meets the requirements of the Multicultural Perspectives category under the Unity and Diversity section. As such it includes requirements and learning objectives that promote students’ abilities to….

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse patterns and similarities of thought, values, and beliefs as manifest in different cultures;
  2. Understand the extent to which cultural differences influence the interpretation and expression of events, ideas, and experiences;
  3. Understand the extent to which cultural differences influence the interactions between individuals and/or groups;
  4. Examine different cultures through their various expressions, and/or
  5. Possess the skills necessary for interaction with someone from different culture or cultural group

This syllabus lists the topics that will be covered and the outcomes they will address.

GRADES

Your grade in this course will be determined on the basis of your performance in three examinations (including the final), and class participation. Each examination will be worth 90 points and class participation will be worth 30 points. These exams will be on (dates…). The university has scheduled your final examination for (day, date, and time…). In these exams you will be required to write mainly essays, although there will be a small component of multiple-choice questions in each of them. A maximum of 300 points will be possible and your grade will be determined according to the following scale.

A

90-100%

270-300 points

B

80-89.9%

240-269 points

C

70-79.9%

210-239 points

D

60-69.9%

180-209 points

E

less than 60%

less than 180 points

 

In addition to the textbook, additional readings from other sources may also be assigned for each topic. These will be articles from journals copies of which might either be placed on reserve in the library, or given to you in class. If available on the Internet, you will be informed about the web site where you can access the relevant article and read it. You will be expected to do the assigned readings and participate in class discussions.

Readings will be supplemented with videos. You will be expected to take notes while watching the videos and demonstrate your understanding in class discussions and in examinations.

Attendance policy:

You are required to attend all scheduled classes. Roll call will be taken frequently and those absenting for more than two classes will begin to lose participation points. I hope this is an enjoyable experience for you. If you have any questions about the course, or the way it is being taught, please feel free to let me know.

 

SCHEDULE OF TOPICS AND USP REQUIREMENTS

(This list is based on Robert Gurr’s book, People versus States)

 

Topics and USP outcomes

Readings

Definitions: Culture, Ethnicity, Nation, Nationalism, Patriotism, Sate, Country

 

Why ethnic groups resort to politics (2, 3)

The Turks in Germany

Chapter 1, Robert Gurr

The rise and decline of ethnic conflicts (2, 3)

Russians in Ukraine

Chapter 2, Robert Gurr

A theoretical framework for understanding ethnic conflicts ( 2, 3)

The indigenous people of Latin America

Chapter 3, Robert Gurr

Discrimination and repression of ethnic groups

(1,2, 3, )

Chinese in Malaysia

Christians in Egypt

Chapter 4, Robert Gurr

Democracy and ethnic accommodation ( 2, 3, 5)

Hungarians in Slovakia

Chapter 5, Robert Gurr

Why it is difficult to resolve ethnic conflicts (2, 3, 5)

The Tibetans in China

Chapter 6, Robert Gurr

Risks of ethnic wars in the future ( 1,2,3,5)

Hindus and Muslims in India

Chapter 7, Robert Gurr

Management of ethnic conflicts in heterogeneous societies (2,3,5)

Chapter 8, Robert Gurr