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Perspectives on Transitions: Inter-Communal Conflict and Paths to Democratisation

September 13, 2013
Queen's University Belfast
09:00 - 17:00

Existing conceptual/theoretical perspectives on the relationship between transition (to democracy among others) and inter-communal conflict so far have not offered much perspective on the Arab Spring, let alone has there been a systematic comparative investigation of these relationships across different waves of transition. This is despite the fact that inter-communal conflict (in a broad sense conflict between distinct ethnic, religious, regional identity groups) has been an important feature of transition processes in countries like Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, and that there are a number of striking similarities between the dynamics of transition previous waves of democratisation in Latin America, post-communist states and the Arab Mediterranean, including the fact that these transition processes have a significant dimension of international involvement. Moreover, comparative perspectives exist on the second and third waves. Thus, there is both a need and an existing framework for comparing different waves of transitions and the outcomes of such transitions with regard to democratisation from the perspective of ethnic conflict.

We invite submissions that propose to address these issues from theoretical/conceptual perspectives and through single and comparative case studies. The conference will explore a range of debates and topics related to transition and inter-communal conflict/tensions. It is open to those who wish to present work on country specific transitions, on broader patterns of regime consolidation, and on historical perspectives as well as contemporary challenges. Papers presented for publication will be considered for publication in Civil WarsEthnopolitics and Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

The conference will take place at the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast on 13 September 2013. The conference is being organised by School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy and the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict Queen’s University Belfast, the PSA Specialist Group on Ethnopolitics, the Centre for Sustainability, Leadership and Governance Plymouth University, the School of Government Plymouth University, Routledge, publishers of Civil WarsEthnopolitics and Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, published by Taylor & Francis.

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