Educations in Ethnic Violence

Educations in Ethnic Violence : Identity, Educational Bubbles, and Resource Mobilization

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In Educations in Ethnic Violence, Matthew Lange explores the effects education has on ethnic violence. Lange contradicts the widely held belief that education promotes peace and tolerance. Rather, Lange finds that education commonly contributes to aggression, especially in environments with ethnic divisions, limited resources and ineffective political institutions. He describes four ways in which organized learning spurs ethnic conflicts. Socialization in school shapes students' identities and the norms governing intercommunal relations. Education can also increase students' frustration and aggression when their expectations are not met. Sometimes, the competitive atmosphere gives students an incentive to participate in violence. Finally, education provides students with superior abilities to mobilize violent ethnic movements. Lange employs a cross-national statistical analysis with case studies of Sri Lanka, Cyprus, the Palestinian territories, India, sub-Saharan Africa, Canada and Germany.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 2 b/w illus. 17 tables
  • 1139216635
  • 9781139216630

Review quote

'In this startling book, Matthew Lange presents new research showing how education in developing nations can raise the risk of ethnic violence. This is not because education teaches hatred - although in some places it does. Rather, the basic mechanisms of education, including competition, placing people in groups, and frustrating those who do not succeed either in school or after graduation, all aid ethnic mobilization and spur conflict in the context of multi-ethnic societies with a history of ethnic-based inequality. Lange provides both cross-national data and detailed case studies to back his conclusions. He makes it clear that education, though vital for developing nations to advance, needs to be rethought and reformed to ameliorate its common, though unintended, effects on ethnic mobilization. This is vital reading for everyone involved with politics and education in the developing world.' Jack A. Goldstone, Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University '[Ethnic Violence and Education] is a provocative and well-written challenge to the pervasive view that education is a panacea for all global development problems. Lange expertly weaves together both quantitative and comparative-historical evidence to show that educational expansion often contributes to ethnic conflict, rather than diminishing it. This is first-rate scholarship that I highly recommend to all social scientists interested in the role of education in development.' Edward Miguel, University of California, Berkeley 'Taken as a whole this book is a theoretically eclectic, methodologically cautious, but substantively daring enterprise. Specifying scope conditions is admirable, and especially so in an analysis that seeks to link empirical warrant to these conditions ... by daring to examine the content and context of education, readers are compelled to evolve past the conventional and simplistic education-as-a-silver-bullet view that dominates much policy analysis focused on ethnic violence.'
Francisco O. Ramirez, American Journal of Sociology
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Table of contents

1. Introduction: education and ethnic violence; 2. Education and ethnic violence: a theoretical framework; 3. Testing the impact of education on ethnic violence; 4. Education and ethnic violence in Sri Lanka; 5. Education and ethnic violence in Cyprus; 6. Education and ethnic violence in the Palestinian territories, India, and sub-Saharan Africa; 7. Education and ethno-nationalist conflict in Canada and Germany; 8. Education and ethnic violence: conclusions and implications.
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