Segment States in the Developing World : Conflict's Cause or Cure?
This book considers the relationship between territorial autonomy arrangements and ethnic conflict. As a means of ethnic conflict management, autonomy arrangements enjoy wide support among policymakers and academics. Countries ranging from the Sudan, the Philippines, and Britain have in recent years each experimented with the establishment of autonomy arrangements as a means of promoting peaceful interethnic relations.
Philip Roeder’s study, Where Nation States Come From: Institutional Change in the Age of Nationalism, criticizes the use of territorial autonomy arrangements. Roeder contends that provisions for autonomy typically fail to manage tensions effectively between rival ethnic communities. Roeder further argues that provisions for autonomy actually enhance the likelihood that countries will experience interethnic tensions and dissolve along communal lines.
This volume offers a critical examination of Roeder’s claim of a causal relationship between autonomy arrangements and increasing interethnic tensions. It presents case studies of territorial autonomy in the developing states of India, Nicaragua, Cameroon, and China. The case studies suggest that autonomy arrangements may in fact have pacifying effects under particular circumstances. The book concludes with a rejoinder by Roeder in which he offers a vigorous defense of his theory.