Gaps Breached and Gaps Bridged: The Theory and Practice of Managing Ethnonational Conflict

This is the presentation, and the working subsequently developed from it, that accompanied my lecture at the opening event of the 2009-2010 Seminar Series on Managing Ethno-National Conflict hosted by the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism.

I argue in this paper that the practical need to manage ethno-national conflict has resulted in thorough academic engagement with the subject, which, in turn, has generated a range of different theories of conflict management. The paper provides an overview of the current debate and examines the differences and similarities between three different theories – liberal consociationalism, centripetalism, and power-dividing. Based on this examination, I develop an analytical framework to identify the conditions under which ethno-national conflict management can succeed in providing settlements in the framework of which sustainable peace is attainable.