Religious affinities and international intervention in ethnic conflicts in the middle east and beyond

Jonathan Fox, Patrick James, Yitan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study asks questions that are important for both theory and policy: Do ethnoreligious minorities attract more intervention than other ethnic minorities? Do Middle Eastern and Islamic ethnic minorities attract more international intervention than ethnic minorities living elsewhere, and if so, why? The Minorities at Risk database, which contains information on intervention in all ethnic conflicts between 1990 and 1995, is used to answer these questions. The findings show that Middle Eastern and Islamic minorities do, in fact, attract more international intervention than other minorities. This is due to a larger pattern where states, especially Islamic ones, rarely intervene on behalf of ethnic minorities with which they share no religious affinities. The results also show that ethnoreligious minorities are more likely to attract political intervention than other ethnic minorities. These results confirm the importance of religious affinities in spite of a general disposition in the field of international relations to minimize their effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-186
Number of pages26
JournalCanadian Journal of Political Science
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

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