Is Ethnic Conflict Inevitable? Parting Ways Over Nationalism and Separatism

Jeremy Weinstein, Ames Habyarimana, assistant professor at Georgetown, Macartan Humphreys, assistant professor at Columbia, Daniel Posner, associate professor at UCLA, Richard Rosecrance, adjunct professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and senior fellow at the Belfer Center, and Arthur Stein, professor of Political Science at UCLA collectively respond to an article titled, "Us and Them," by Jerry Muller, professor at the Catholic University of America in Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008.

According to the authors, Muller's article "tells a disconcerting story about the potential for ethnic diversity to generate violent conflict. He argues that ethnic nationalism--which stems from a deeply felt need for each people to have its own state--"will continue to shape the world in the twenty-first century."

In fact, Weinstein and his co-authors argue, ethnic differences are not inevitably, or even commonly, linked to violence on a grand scale.