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Stuart Kaufman

This chapter argues two main themes. The first is that ethnic civil conflicts such as the ones in Bosnia, Macedonia and Mountainous Karabagh are at the same time regional security issues whose trajectory is critically affected as much by external actors as by internal ones. The second theme is that the behaviour of all parties involved, ethnic groups within states, governments of other states, and others, depends on their construction of their interests. In the hot spots of Eurasia, security dilemmas continue to exist within and between states because states and groups define their security in mutually exclusive ways. Scholars, practitioners and journalists have developed a number of different ideas about how to explain the ethnic violence in Eurasia. The chapter presents the internal dynamics of the ethnic conflicts and explores the ethnic myths and symbols at the root of the groups' conflicting identities.

in Limiting institutions?