Prepared for use at the panel on "Insecurity: Migration (Refugees) and Ethnic Nationalism as Symptoms of World Systemic Crisis" during the conference of the International Studies Association in Toronto, March 1997
[Please do not quote or cite without the author's permission]
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Frequent references to the recrudescence of inter-ethnic conflict based on primordial rivalries have an element of truth but miss the point that the contemporary escalation of violence attributed to ethnonationalism is truly a modern phenomenon. We do need to look back to historical parallels to gain perspective on the causes and uniqueness of bitter struggles rooted in ethnic politics now taking place in many countries (Hall, 1997). However, the rise of modernity in the West during the past few centuries has created forces and situations that have now reached a boiling point and are producing civil wars, genocide, refugees, and international interventions on a global scale (Smith, 1996).
Multi-culturalism (polyethnicity) arose thousands of years ago and persists today. However, it has been so deeply re-shaped by modernity that it has acquired novel and even menacing features. Modernizers usually claim that modernization will bring rationality and the rule of law, democracy and peace with justice for all. It is hard for them, therefore, to acknowledge that modernization has also transmuted the logic of multi-culturalism, making it a catalyst in the rising malaise of ethnic nationalism and civil wars, genocide and refugees, while precipitating global concern and international interventions -- case studies illustrating these problems can be found in Thompson and Ronen (1986).
The three dimensions of modernity that are most responsible for these negative consequences consist, I believe, of the forces of industrialism, democracy, and nationalism. The rise of modern imperialism as a world-encircling affliction can be seen as, perhaps, the most important negative consequence of modernity, but the collapse of these empires following the great wars of the 20th century has generated a sequel in which continuing turmoil within both the successor states and the imperial heartlands takes a variety of negative forms that we may view as para-modern, a term that covers all the adverse effects of modernity. Other aspects of para-modernity reinforce the ethnonational conflicts that I shall talk about here: for more comments about them see Riggs 1997a. Coping... Malody, as used in the title of this paper, blends 'melody' and 'malady,' suggesting the ambivalence of modernity, its positive ortho-modern aspects and its negative para-modern consequences.
In order to understand how the forces of modernity have reinforced each other to generate the malody of modernity, we could think of them as dimensions (like height, width, and length) that integrally characterize any object yet can be viewed, abstractly, as linear strings, each vulnerable to analysis as simple cause/effect (independent/dependent) variables. Using a different metaphor, we might also view them as constituents in a loaf of bread: it contains flour, water, yeast and other ingredients. We can easily discuss each of these components without shedding any light on the nature of bread. Although bread cannot exist without its necessary constituents, its identity is different from all of them -- as the cliche say, "the whole is greater than its parts." To say that, however, is not to question the need to study each part separately -- indeed, that is how we must begin, looking first at industrialism and its source in capitalism.
We sometimes speak of the Industrial Revolution as such a sequence of events wrought in the West by its capitalist (bourgeois) class. Economists (and Marxians) have specialized in rendering accounts of this sequence which carried the world from preindustrial traditions to modern high-tech innovations, linking the world today by INTERNET, trade and monetary flows, satellites and space travel. If modernity is bread, industrialism is flour -- it provides the most important ingredient but, by itself, cannot explain the whole.
Political scientists focus on democratization as a fundamental transformation from monarchic rule rooted in widespread acceptance of divine authority and supernatural powers, to forms of governance based on secular beliefs in human equality and justice as legitimized by popular representation through democratic political institutions. Sociologists and anthropologists, in turn, have looked more closely at the rise of nationalism as a phenomenon linked with the transformation from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft, from family and tribe to nations and associations, from primary to secondary relationships. These constitute the water and yeast in bread --necessary ingredients but not to be equated with modernity. For a discussion of the historic events and dynamisms which linked industrialism, nationalism and democracy in the "West", see Riggs 1994.
No doubt, a single-minded focus on any one of these three dimensions can be illuminating and interesting -- certainly each challenges our imagination, intelligence and historical understanding. More rewarding, however, is the study of how all three dimensions reinforce and interact with each other in circles of causation -- economic forces have political, cultural, and social consequences, and every consequence reciprocally affects all the other elements in this multi- dimensional process of modernity. We may use such words as "interdependence," "human ecology" or "socio-cybernetics" to provide frameworks against which to try to visualize the complex ways that nature, society, and technology affect each other and produce the good and bad feedbacks (the melodies and maladies) that are so deeply intertwined with each other in the modern world -- for a discussion of the negative (para-modern) consequence that have flowed, from the very beginning, from all three dimensions of modernity, often as a result of the most positive (ortho-modern) benefits of modernity, see Riggs, 1997a. Coping...
1. the appreciation and use of goods that have been mass- produced by means of inanimate power sources (notably coal, oil, and electricity),
2. the acceptance, in principle, of political legitimacy based on the popular election of representatives and the accountability of public officials to representative institutions, and
3. the ideal, however imperfectly realized, of national sovereignty as the foundation for political legitimacy.
In this usage, modernity refers to a condition rather than a time -- thus some contemporary states are not modern. However, modern states are contemporary in the sense that they have all evolved within the last few centuries -- 300 years at the most, more reasonably, the last 150 years. I would rather speak of non-modern than pre-modern states because, assuredly, some of them persist into the present time. To the degree that a state resists industrial products and methods, relies on supernatural sources of authority, and therefore does not rest its claims to sovereignty on its ethnonational identity, it may be classed as non-modern -- precious few countries at the end of the 20th century meet these criteria. Bhutan may come closest.
The temporal dimension is also needed to answer the often-heard contention that modernity is not truly modern. This play on words makes sense only if one uses "modern" to mean contemporary, whereas "modernity" is used to characterize a quality or condition. No doubt, all the ingredients in modernity have ancient roots -- only in recent history have they become linked in the modern format. The point can be illustrated by another "bread" metaphor. Consider that bread can be made without yeast -- we call it, then, unleavened bread. Assume, for present purposes, that traditionally all bread was unleavened but, today, virtually all bread is leavened. When I spoke of "bread," therefore, I assumed that it includes yeast as a necessary ingredient. If your notion of "bread" includes the unleavened form, then bread is, indeed, ancient, but if it refers only to the leavened form, then bread is not ancient. Whether modernity is ancient or recent depends, similarly, on what ingredients you assign to the mixture, or how you define the term.
If we identify modernity with any one of its basic components, then it is truly an ancient phenomenon because each of the three dimensions mentioned above can be traced to antiquity. Industrialism has early but transient forms: it came of age during the "Industrial Revolution" only after reliable state support for capitalist property materialized as a result of the empowerment of bourgeois forces. Democracy flourished in ancient city states, but modern democracy is qualitatively different insofar as it can exist in large states by linking representative with bureaucratic institutions. "Nationalism" has been ubiquitous everywhere and at all times insofar as groups experience a "we" versus "others" sense of identity. Elevated to a higher level, the Chinese, the Romans, and the Navaho have for long felt that their civilization, nation, or tribe was superior to all others. The qualitative change arose only after this ancient and universal sense of "we-ness" was transmuted into a semi- mystical foundation for legitimizing the authority of a democratic state. Until then, the sacred powers vested in royalty provided a basis for sovereignty and the legitimacy of states (Hocart, 1927).
Modernity, then, has combined these three ingredients into a new synthesis -- neither industrialism, nor nationalism, nor democracy can be equated with modernity -- only after they are fused in a modern state can we justifiably call them "modern". Put differently, modern industrialism is the form of that industrialism takes in modern states; nationalism becomes modern only when it legitimizes the existence of a state, or the aspiration to create one; and modern democracy can only be found in states where representative institutions are able to control a government's bureaucracy. Bureaucracy and democracy are both ancient institutions -- they become modern only when linked together in the context of industrialism and nationalism. Many contemporary states are not modern insofar as they lack these three basic elements -- or, rather, they may be classed as more or less modern depending on the extent to which they embody them. However, this notion by no means implies any theory of "stages" or the inevitability or even desirability of progressions from "traditional to modern."
It is useful to distinguish different degrees of modernity -- we could, for example, use proto-modern to refer to states at an early stage in their capacity to realize the modern dimensions and neo-modern for recently evolved patterns of modernity. In this sense, all industrialized democracies can claim to be neo-modern. Many of the new countries which have been called "quasi-states" (Jackson, 1990) might be classified as proto-modern. I like to use a more descriptive term for them: it is anarchian (a blend of 'anarchy' and 'authoritarian') which characterizes these countries by their weakly authoritarian governments which cannot control or serve large areas within their boundaries where war lords, gangs, and ethnonational movements flourish -- for more details see Riggs, 1996a [http://www2.hawaii.edu/~fredr/6-tan5a.htm] TAN 
Finally, let me say that modernity should not be contrasted with traditional or non-Western, terms that I avoid -- they both lead to misleading oversimplifications. "Traditional" refers to an Epimethean orientation that values the past, and should be contrasted with a Promethean (futurist) point of view which stresses change and possibilities (Sheldon 1936, p. 78). Traditionalism (or "neo-traditionalism") flourishes in many contemporary societies -- it relates to a point of view, not a country or regime. Clearly traditionalism motivates more people in some countries than others, and both future and past orientations are time-conscious -- in many countries what Sheldon calls the "waster" point of view is dominant --this is the attitude of people who focus on their current experiences and interests without much regard for either the past or the future (Sheldon, p. 82).
One may argue that non-modern societies tend to stress traditionalism and more people in modern societies are oriented toward innovation and change or what Giovanni Sartori refers to as novitism, a preoccupation with promoting change for its own sake. An obvious sign of novitism is emphasis on the "new" and the "post-" as necessarily better than the old, as reflected in the current rage for "post-modernism." My guess is that in most societies at all times most people actually focus on the present and how best to meet their urgent immediate needs -- if not "wasters," they are "sensate" in the sense of Sorokin (1941). These orientations cut across the traditionalism/novitism spectrum -- I suspect that the most prevalent attitudes are neither traditional nor novitistic but something in between.
An even more dangerous over-simplification arises from careless use of the Western/Non-Western dichotomy. The most dangerous risk involves equating "Western" with "modern" as when modernization and Westernization are used interchangeably. The former term -- as noted above -- refers to structural changes that link the state with industrialization, democratization, and national identity. By contrast, the latter involves cultural practices that evolved in one place (the "West") and and have been borrowed by people living elsewhere (the "Rest"). To underline this distinction, consider that up until the end of the 17th century, Westerners were not modern -- as in the world depicted by Shakespeare, Chaucer, Cervantes, Dante or Boccaccio. Consider also that many non-Westerners in the world today are very modern -- as in Japan, India or Egypt - - while simultaneously not Western in their life-style or cultural norms.
Actually, it is difficult to operationalize the notion of "Western," and I avoid the term. If the core notion is that of Western Europe and the lands occupied now primarily by persons of European origin, should it include or exclude the peoples of Latin America, of South Africa, of Israel? Historically, how far back does "Western" extend -- to feudal Europe, to the Roman Empire, to Greece and Egypt? The seminal meaning of "Europe" was that of Greece (north of the Peloponnesus) or, etymologically, "land of the setting sun," i.e., the "West" as viewed from the Levant (i.e. the land of the rising sun") as viewed from Italy or France. The meaning of Europe gradually expanded to the West, until it came to include the British Islands and, now, even North America (in UNESCO usage) -- it became more transparent to replace 'Europe' with 'West', especially so that Australia/New Zealand could also be included -- the evolving sense of Europe is described in Leclerq (1982, pp. 8-10).
What, then, is not in the "West": presumably the rest of the world, but not really the "East". Increasingly, Africa, in the "South" has become part of the Rest, but it does not belong to the "East". With the advance of Western influence, especially as carried by the forces of imperialism (or "modernity"), individuals and communities throughout the Rest have, indeed, become "Western." China, India and Egypt accept the "Western" calendar, as does most of the world -- while also retaining their own "Restern" calendars, as do many if not most of the world's peoples.
Resterners enjoy reading Shakespeare as much as Westerners could enjoy reading the Ramayana, Kalidasa's Shakuntala, the Dream of the Red Chamber, The Tale of Genji, or The Adventures of Hajji Baba. However, Westerners do read the Psalms of David, Homer's Odyssey or Ovid's Art of Love, impudently claiming these non-Western books as classic items in their "Western." In every civilization, no doubt, we often embrace selectively the works and practices we like while rejecting works of equal value that remain unknown to us. Such adaptations (acculturations) are no doubt ubiquitous and they help us create our own myths of the "West."
The boundary between West and Rest is, surely, a fuzzy zone of indeterminacy -- both can be equally non-modern or modern. Increasingly, in the global syncretism that modernity has created, we can assimilate everyone's heritage to our own -- but this is not modernity; rather, it is a result of modernity. The process of Westernization in the Rest of the world is, in fact, accompanied by a parallel process of Resternization in the West -- both can be attributed to modernity and, together, a kind of global cosmopolitanism will evolve -- if we survive that long.
Following the rise of modernity, however, ethnicity has become linked to the modern state in ways that make it a modern phenomenon, taking the varied and overlapping forms of ethnic nationalism, civic ethnicity and ethnic plurality.  I shall discuss each of these modern forms of ethnicity later, but before doing so, we need to look more closely at the nature and linkages of the three basic ingredients (dimensions) of modernity that brought about these new forms of ethnicity: industrialism, democracy and nationalism.
Industrialism has generated forces which dramatize and intensify ethnic contrasts, giving them heightened significance in many contexts of modern life -- accelerating the pace of cross-cultural interactions, thereby amplifying the need for accommodations and inflicting severe penalties on those who resist them. All three forms of modern ethnicity are accentuated by these forces.
Democracy has created an invidious distinction between citizens and subjects -- those whose votes establish governments responsive to their interests and others whose inability to vote deprives them of the rights and privileges available to citizens. To the degree that citizens can be distinguished from subjects by cultural criteria, ethnicity acquires political significance and accentuates the sense of injustice that drive all the forms of modern ethnicity.
Nationalism has, above all, provided a new basis for legitimizing the authority of a democratic state. The norm of a national state has come to be seem as both desirable and reasonable: it idealizes a polity in which all citizens are culturally homogeneous and all members of a given ethnic community live in their own state. The fact that no modern state actually achieves the goal of being a national state - -perhaps Iceland comes closest to the ideal -- scarcely impedes the enthusiasm of ethnonationalists whose claims for sovereignty rest on the assumption that it is a possible dream.
The widespread use of the term, nation state to mean both an independent state recognized by the United Nations and international law and a national state based on ethnic homogeneity so confuses us that it is even difficult to discuss this matter sensibly. Although nationalism affects all three forms of modern ethnicity, its most serious and tragic effects involve the development of ethnic nationalism. The concept that the legitimacy of a democratic state hinges on the national unity of its people has been transformed into the counter notion that every "people" has the sovereign right of self- determination.
Let me elaborate on these summary propositions by discussing each of the three dimensions of modernity in more detail. [NOTE: The following discussion is borrowed, with revisions, from Riggs 1997b Para- Modern...]
Industrialization was the driving force of modernity, but it has deep historical roots. The long-term existence of capitalism and of merchant/traders as peripatetic actors in the world system for several thousand years provided the most important basis, I think, for the Industrial Revolution. However, this fundamental transformation could occur only when growing numbers of urban entrepreneurs (residents of the European "bergs", i.e. the "burghers" or the "bourgeoisie") created political links with kings whose state-building efforts (following the Treaty of Westphalia) they supported in exchange for the protection of their properties. 
Normally, in non-modern societies, entrepreneurial property has been vulnerable to confiscation by elites whose arbitrary authority rested, above all, on monarchic rule, supported by religious, aristocratic, and military forms of power. After a transition period of mercantilism in which rulers allied with merchants built armed maritime networks of trade anchored in port cities around the world, it became possible for increasingly powerful entrepreneurs to safeguard their investments and manufacture cheaper goods on a larger scale, using more powerful sources of energy. A crucial transformation involved the development of new technologies for production powered by coal, oil and electricity, in addition to the non- industrial animate and "eotechnic" (wind and water) sources that became available in pre-industrial societies. The products of industrialization included not only manufactured goods, like cotton, but also more violent weapons used to empower the states without whose support industrialization could not have occurred.
Industrialization enabled poorer and smaller Western countries to buy cherished products from the great civilizations of Asia. They were also funded to arm their trading vessels in ways that permitted them first to subdue the unarmed merchant ships of regimes that did not support their traders, and later to conquer or dominate many formerly independent societies. These conquests were driven by an ever expanding need for industrial raw materials that could not be produced in Europe, plus growing markets made possible both by domination and by the marketization of peoples whose peasant populations had, until then, largely supported themselves on a subsistence basis. It is important to remember that capitalism made industrialization possible but industrialism powered imperialism and it remains a major force even after the death of imperialism and even in countries where public ownership replaced private entrepreneurship (capitalism).
By marginalizing civilized peoples and conquering tribal societies, the foundations for deep ethnic cleavages were laid. The most dire result of industrialization took the form of imperialism when some of the modern states built empires. The struggles between these modern empires, at first overseas in the areas of conquest but, eventually, in the European heartland, culminating in two World Wars and, then, a "Cold War" between the two major surviving superpowers. The contemporary world situation can best be understood as a fallout of this epic disaster. All theories based on the structures of power and politics that prevailed during the age of inter-imperial warfare need to be re- shaped on the basis of the world system arising on the basis of the collapsed empires. We must also remember that when traditional empires collapsed, their successor regimes were not informed by visions of industrial wealth, democratic equalitarianism, and national identity. It is, indeed, difficult to grasp the uniqueness of the transition through which the world is now passing.
The Successor States that emerged on the ashes of the modern empires were artificially constituted by imperialism -- many tribes were mixed together in the new states and some ethnic nations were divided between different states but they were all infected by the virus of modernity. Anarchianism (weak authoritarianism plus anarchy) in many of these successor states provided the incentives for escalating resistance movements and criminal gangs, many of which now converge into ethno-political revolts based on demands for self- determination and sovereignty, or for the re-unification of a people divided by imperial conquests. These para-modern consequences of industrialism need to be recognized in parallel with the ortho-modern consequences we like to boast about (Riggs, 1997b Para-Modern... and 1997c Malody... .
A secondary consequence of industrialization involved massive migrations that greatly increased the degree of multi-cultural mixing and ethno-racial marginalization. Newly emerging British factories, for example, required large quantities of cotton to manufacture cloth, generating the demand for plantation workers that drove the slave trade -- neither Europeans nor conquered peoples were willing to perform the arduous work on plantations and in mines that industrialism required, nor would they accept the poverty it entailed.
When the American Civil War and emancipation produced a large number of "freed" slaves, they became a marginalized ethno-racial minority, creating the most acute of the many ethnic controversies faced by Americans today. Chinese workers were brought to California to do the manual labor involved in building railways, and plantation workers came from Japan, Korea and the Philippines to grow sugar in Hawaii and elsewhere, thereby generating major contemporary controversies involving Asian ethnicity in the United States and producing another form of para-modernity.
Throughout the domains of the modern empires, miners, field hands and construction workers were imported to help supply the materials and infrastructure needed by expanding factories. Some became millers who processed agricultural products. Others became merchants operating village stores: peasants living on a subsistence basis could not become customers for factory-made products until outsiders set up shops in their villages. Traditional reciprocity in such societies would have led to the ostracizing of any community member who demanded money in exchange for merchandise. Following independence, some of these alien minorities became scapegoats and even faced eviction -- as did the Indians in Uganda, or the Chinese in Indonesia.
A third dimension of industrialism that contributes to the violence of ethnonationalist revolts involves the goods and services it provides. The mass production and distribution of weapons of deadly violence makes them widely available to terrorists and to nationalists alike. Industrialism created new means of communication, including the fax machne, Xerox, cellular phones, the INTERNET, that all facilitate the organization of resistance movements as well as of authoritarian regimes. New modes of large-scale organization enable private associations and political parties to arise, as well as states, multi- national corporations and ethnonational movements.
Industrialism has also developed means of transportation that permit the long-distance migration of laborers and entrepreneurs as well as the transportation of manufactures and heavy raw materials. All of these products of industrialism reinforce and facilitate the rise and revolts of ethnic nationalists and aggravate the symptoms of para- modernity. They do not, however, explain their underlying rationale. To grasp the deeper meanings, we need to look at the other major dimensions of modernity: democracy and nationalism.
Modern democracy, unfortunately, also engendered new forms of oppression. Notions of human equality informed new electoral practices that empowered citizens, but they also angered subjects who felt betrayed when promises of empowerment led to the realities of marginalization and oppression. From its earliest beginnings, the ortho-modern achievements of democratization were counterbalanced by para-modern frustrations born of capitalist oppression and imperialist tyranny. Humiliations and hardships that were stoically tolerated under traditional monarchies became intolerable grievances as democratic values spread.
No doubt, ideally speaking, democratic governments promised to accommodate the needs and just demands of all their peoples. They succeeded insofar as they met the needs of their newly enfranchised citizens, but the same democratic values also spurred the mobilization of marginalized peoples, including proletarians and peasants as well as increasingly conscious cultural and racial minorities.
So long as sovereignty was vested in kings and emperors whose supernatural powers were thought to bring health and wealth to all their subjects, revolts were viewed as sacrilegious provocations more likely to bring divine retribution than worldly benefits. Traditional hierarchic notions legitimized gross inequities among different cultural communities and castes. Class and ethnic inequality was viewed as an inescapable destiny, as karmic, as part of the natural order of things.
The shift from monarchism to democracy, by contrast, entailed the acceptance of the new equalitarian norms proclaimed in the American Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal..." This revolutionary doctrine has always clashed with actual practice, but it became an inspiration to marginalized peoples -- if equality was "true," then why were they, quite "self-evidently," so unequal? As individualism and secularism gained acceptance, so did the sense of injustice that growing inequities produced.
As popular suffrage and social mobility progressed, so did the mobilization of oppressed minorities, starting with "proletarians," inspired by socialist/communist ideologies. During the past half-century, as ethnic and racial communities became mobilized, they also pressed for social justice. Their leaders exploit democratic values to support their protests and justify their demands. In America, the Civil Rights movement -- whose most dramatic moment is epitomized by Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, August 28, 1963 -- brought a long delayed and still incomplete fruition to this aspiration in America. Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation has been celebrated around the world as a call for marginalized peoples to rise up and demand their rights.
Imperialism aggravated these provocations. As John Bowen noted in a recent article (1996), new social groups identified by "ethnic, religious, or regional categories" were recognized by the colonial powers and given preferential treatment, providing a basis for self identification that subsequently enabled them to "...act in concert, as political groups with common interests... These shared interests have been those of political autonomy, access to education and jobs, and control of local resources. Far from reflecting ancient ethnic or tribal loyalties, their cohesion and action are products of the modern state's demand that people make themselves heard..." (Bowen, 1996, p.7).
The facts mentioned by Bowen are true enough but they focus on the effects of imperialism without recognizing that democratic values were an integral part of the pattern. The colonial powers did not create the ethnic distinctions that already existed among conquered peoples, but they accentuated them and gave them a new political force that armed the leaders of resistance movements. Democracy, therefore, both motivates ethnic conflicts and also offers a mechanism for resolving them.
Insofar as constitutionalism prevails and states are really democratic, newly mobilizing peoples can rely on non- violent methods to voice their demands through political parties and elections. However, when weak authoritarians, especially members of a dominant minority, have seized power, the only recourse available to marginalized communities involves the use of violence. The efforts of weak governments to suppress dissent -- using terror, genocide, and police mafias to maintain their supremacy -- has generated a whip- lash response that reinforces dissidence and escalates the violence. The ortho-modern merits of democracy, then, are counter-balanced by its para- modern debacles.
Exponents of democracy as a road to justice for oppressed peoples need to see that the rhetoric and values of democracy, when not realized in practice, provide a rationale for protest movements and, especially, for ethnic rebellions. However, as emphasized above, democratization is only one of the three interlinked dimensions of modernity. To understand modern ethnicity, we need to add the story of nationalism to that of democracy and industrialism.
Importantly, nationalism may follow or precede the state: an existing state may promote nationalism to consolidate its power, or a nation may demand statehood to establish its sovereignty. Historically, state elites and intellectuals promoted nationalism as a motor for assimilation and nation- building which they saw as a requisite for the success of both industrialization and democratization. The evolution of modernity was, therefore, enhanced by state nations able to promote the dream of a national state. Concretely, think about how the French state transformed its subjects into French-speaking French citizens, or how the United States went about Americanizing its immigrants.
When this hope -- driven by the need of newly empowered capitalists for raw materials and markets to fuel their expanding industrial properties -- led to the creation of modern empires, it was not long before the reactive dream of national independence became the engine for liberation movements and the emergence of today's throng of new states. Moreover, just as democratization in the motherlands reflected the urge to replace royal with popular sovereignty rooted in a shared sense of national identity, so anti- imperial liberation movements linked nationalism and equalitarianism in their drive for self-determination and independence.
Ironically, the leaders of national liberation movements were soon transfigured, in many countries, into dominant minorities viewed by their subjects as oppressors. Bowen asserts that "The colonial powers... realized that, given their small numbers in their dominions, they could effectively govern and exploit only by seeking out 'partners' from among local people" (p.6). He claims that, thereby, they created "firmly bounded 'ethnic groups,'" but he might also have noted that such policies also created privileged minorities who often became the rulers of these countries after they were liberated. The former liberators came, in turn, to be perceived as oppressors by the marginalized majorities who found, to their dismay, that they had escaped exotic masters only to be enthralled by endogenous authoritarians.
Nationalistic resistance to alien refugees and other migrants often reinforces their inclination to support ethnonationalist movements in their homelands. Their hopes for a return inspires diaspora support for ethnonational movements back home. Thus migrants become transmission belts: facing nationalistic exclusiveness in their hostlands, they become ethnic nationalists in their homelands. However, democratic acceptance of immigrants can also facililtate cultural integration in contexts of ethnic diversity, thereby reducing support for ethnic nationalism in the homelands of dispersed peoples.
Even communities whose members have peacefully integrated after generations of co-existence may now find themselves mobilized and polarized by rival ethnic camps, sometimes leading to a frenzy of genocidal attacks -- as we have seen most recently in Bosnia and Rwanda. "Ethnic cleansing" became genocide in the hands of Serb militants, and, as Bowen points out, the new Croatian regime "moved quickly to define Serbs as second-class citizens, fired Serbs from the police and military, and placed the red-and-white 'checkerboard' of the Nazi-era Ustashe flag in the new Croatian banner" (p.9). Thus civic ethnicity can be transformed into ethnic nationalism and efforts by ethnic nationalists to create a national state can lead to violent repression of minorities. Individuals may find themselves compelled to take sides under pressure from activists who say that anyone who is not with us must be against us.
No doubt the reverse process of healing wounds is also possible and, under the terms of the Dayton accord, with international supervision, the fractured community of Bosnians may, eventually, regain the relative harmony it had before rival Serb, Croat and Muslim leaders tore it to shreds.
Everyone is familiar with the sorry Palestinian story -- under Ottoman and British rule, Arab and Jewish subjects coexisted in relative harmony, but the creation of Israel and the flight of Palestinians led to the intense confrontations that generated Palestinian nationalism and the bitter struggle that continues today in that embattled land. We may well hope that, under the terms of the Oslo accords, peace and justice can be restored, but it will certainly take great patience, courage and tolerance to bring this about.
In Cyprus, the clash between Greeks and Turks is essentially modern, following that island's independence from British rule in 1960. No doubt inter-communal tensions have long existed in that island state, but they were accelerated by the armed support and nationalistic rhetoric that came from Greece and Turkey, as well as from Cypriot activists on both sides. As the internal partition advanced, members of the Turkish minority concentrated on the northern reaches of the island and were able, by 1975, to establish a de facto (but still unrecognized) republic. Under the auspices of the United Nations and the European Union, efforts are now being made to heal the breach by some kind of federal arrangement that would again permit Greek and Turkish Cypriots to live together in harmony.
There is no need to say more about these processes that are now the familiar stuff of innumerable press reports and television stories. They have led to the creation of many self-determination movements among conquered or displaced peoples seeking justice and economic opportunity as defined by industrialization, by the modern norms of democracy and, above all, by nationalism. No doubt the leaders of revolts and protest movements continuously inspire new recruits by repeating stories of past glories and injustices as well as future dreams, hoping thereby to attract new followers to their revolts and their struggles for equality and greater opportunities.
That activist leaders should use historic myths to support their political aims is understandable. That incidents of persecution and injustice should inspire political movements demanding justice with equal opportunity and sovereignty is quite predictable. Thus ethnic nationalism reinforces and legitimizes the ortho-modern consequences of industrialism and democratization by giving structure and purpose to ethnonationalist movements. To understand the uniqueness of ethnonationalist revolts in the world today we need to appreciate their historical background -- only in the context of the collapse of modern empires and the emergence of anarchian successor states can we fully appreciate the gravity of the global crisis caused by modern ethnic nationalism. If we see it as part of a long-term pattern, especially one grounded in primordial grievances, we will surely fail to see how novel and serious is the threat it poses for the world today.
To continue with Part II of this paper, see Modernity II
See also the Abstract and the plan for the Toronto panel .