The project can usefully be understood through the metaphor of a wheel. It starts with the hub, with the central question:
The hub has four spokes or themes around which we organize our research. The spokes are attached to the rim. The rim is constituted by our partners, students, and stake-holders, They will feed information, ideas, experience, and expertise to us; and through them, we will communicate our results and ideas to the academy and to the wider community. By organizing our work in this way, we avoid constructing yet another set of isolated compartments. Each of the four themes is deeply integrated with the others. Interaction among them will take place in several ways.
EDG’s international research team seeks to advance our understanding of the empirical sources of ethnic politics, the normative ideals of justice, equality and democracy that should guide state responses to diversity, and the policies and institutions that can be used in the governance of diversity. Research will be oriented around four inter-connected themes:
The causes * of ethnic community formation, political mobilization and conflict
Strategies and policies * available to states for developing democracy in multi-ethnic societies
The extent to which the international community * can facilitate the peaceful resolution of ethnic conflicts
The normative principles * of justice and democracy that should be used in formulating or evaluating the governance of diversity.