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Queen's University

Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

Bridging These Spokes

These four related sets of questions constitute the central themes of the project. While each spoke (or theme) is distinct, they are all closely related and cannot be studied in isolation. Workable state strategies of accommodation, for example, can only emerge from a deep understanding of the roots of conflict in particular cases, and from a clear sense of the normative values at stake. Normative theories of multiculturalism in turn will only be fruitful if they are built upon a realistic understanding of the dynamics (the causes, characteristics and historical development) of ethnic identification and political mobilization. Similarly, international engagement can only work when the specific characteristics of particular conflicts are fully understood; and, international involvement itself may alter the evolution of conflicts. Much of the existing scholarship on these issues and much of the policy-making is weakened by inattention to these linkages.

We view the four spokes as four dimensions (rather than separate tracks) that must be taken into account in all of our research activities. Co-applicants and collaborators participate in other spokes and in occasional meetings of the entire research team. The coordinators for each spoke are responsible for ensuring that their thematic questions are properly represented in our activities, and for ensuring that the findings relating to that theme are carried forward throughout the duration of the project.


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