Contentious Identities

Ethnic, Religious and National Conflicts in Today's World

This book analyzes widespread global ethnic conflicts that tear asunder nations and regions, such as the former Yugoslavia. Dan Chirot casts his analysis in a discussion of the conflict between national and ethnic identity, discovering that ethnic identity, rooted in centuries of tradition and habit, often trumps national identity, which may be of more recent gestation and have a weaker hold on people. His analysis affords insights into the recent aggressive U.S. posture on ‘nation building,’ showing the blindness of this approach to deeply-entrenched ethnic identities. His timely book can be used in classes on globalization, international development, political sociology, social movements, and theory.