How Enemies are Made. Towards a Theory of Ethnic and Religious Conflict
Oxford: Berghahn Books
Year of publication
In popular perception cultural differences or ethnic affiliation are factors that cause conflict or political fragmentation although this is not borne out by historical evidence. This book puts forward an alternative conflict theory. The author develops a decision theory which explains the conditions under which differing types of identification are preferred. Group identification is linked to competition for resources like water, territory, oil, political charges, or other advantages. Rivalry for resources can cause conflicts but it does not explain who takes whose side in a conflict situation. This book explores possibilities of reducing violent conflicts and ends with a case study, based on personal experience of the author, of conflict resolution.