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Chapter 4 Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices 2e By Lowell Barrington Identity Structure Learning Objectives Describe the various types of politically relevant collective identities. Explain why various forms of identity work as sources of political mobilization. Describe the strategies a government may take in response to ethnic diversity, and explain the conditions under which these responses are likely to be more or less accommodating. Compare and contrast the major identity divisions in the TIC countries. Summarize the main findings of this chapter’s Research in Context section. Identity Definition Set of characteristics by which individuals or groups are known to themselves and others In-groups, Out-groups, and Perceptions of Threat Membership boundaries Think and Discuss Why is identity so effective as a tool for political elites who are trying to mobilize members of the general public? Identity ■ ■ ■ Forms of Collective Identity National identity Race, Ethnicity, Tribe, and Clan □ □ □ Race – contested form of identity Ethnic identity (ethnicity) – most important group identity Tribal and Clan Identity - associated with shared blood ties Identity Religion Christianity World’s largest religion, around one-third of the world’s population Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Islam The world’s second largest religion, making up 20 percent of the world’s population Has significant internal divisions, most notably Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims Think and Discuss How are Islam’s Five Pillars—the belief that “There is no true God except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” prayer five times per day, fasting during Ramadan, charity to the poor, and a pilgrimage to Mecca at least one time during one’s life—similar to and different from the core “pillars” of Christianity? Identity Religion Judaism Has had a major impact on international politics Became a national identity after the Holocaust, when the state of Israel was founded Hinduism The world’s third largest religion, making up 15 percent of the world’s population Gandhi stressed its peaceful, nonviolent traits Buddhism Like Hinduism, originated in India Based on one individual (Buddha) and self-reflective experience Identity Sex/Gender Sex is the biological term; gender involves perceived differences that shape identities Gender is the social understandings of traits, roles, and behavioral differences between men and women and their political attitudes and behaviors Class Considered one of the most important social cleavages Intrastate Regional Identity Transnational Regional Identity Complementary and CrossCutting Identity Divisions Complementary Identity Divisions Also called complementary social cleavages or accumulative social cleavages Cross-Cutting Identity Divisions When group identity boundaries do not coincide with one another Government Responses to Identity Diversity Genocide Ethnic Cleansing Assimilation Integration Accommodation Ethno-federalism Recognizing Independence Claims Think and Discuss What factors might lead a government to take more tolerant or less tolerant actions against ethnic, racial, or religious minorities? What strategies has the American government used in response to ethnic, racial, and religious diversity? Topic in Countries The United Kingdom Class cleavages have become less important than ethnicity, region (esp. important in Scotland), and religion Conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland; new focus on Muslims, esp. since 7/7 terrorist attacks Topic in Countries Germany Class has historically been an important cleavage, but now ethnicity and religion are the major cleavages (Turks) Regional cleavages also exist (east versus west) Genocidal policies of Nazis replaced by greater desire for integration, but citizenship laws remained restrictive for immigrants Topic in Countries India Hindu-Muslim tensions remained following the partition; caste and gender important as well Identity complexity in India limits complementary divisions; instances of complementary identity groups are relatively localized Affirmative action for certain groups based on past discrimination; combination of accommodation and repression of regional movements demanding greater autonomy Topic in Countries Mexico Divide between mestizo and indigenous population present but weakened by diversity within indigenous population Region, class, and ethnicity (indigenous vs. mestizo) are complementary because of concentration of poor, indigenous population in the south of the country. Past efforts at assimilation of minority groups giving way to greater accommodation of indigenous cultures Topic in Countries Brazil Class remains most significant division; emerging religious division between majority Catholics and growing evangelical Protestants Race is strongly correlated with economic standing Past efforts at integration only moderately successful; greater support for accommodation today Topic in Countries Nigeria Hundreds of recognized ethnic groups; sharp divisions among the three largest (Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa-Fulani); Christian-Muslim tensions, esp. in north Ethnicity and region are strongly complementary; reinforced by religion, with most Muslims in the north and Christians in the south Past efforts to develop attachment to overarching Nigerian identity had limited success; today, emphasis is on harmony and unity rather than uniformity Topic in Countries Russia Ethnicity, religion, and region are important collective identities Interethnic marriage limit ethnic tensions, but growing divide between ethnic Russians and minorities in Russia’s south Under tsars and Soviets, combination of assimilation and ethno-federalism; ethno-federal system remains, but with discrimination against many minority groups IN THEORY AND PRACTICE CLEAVAGE STRUCTURE THEORY AND RUSSIA • Cleavage Structure Theory □ □ ● Highlights the importance of complementary identity divisions Political implications, including increased tensions and difficulties for democracy Russia and Its Regions of Tatarstan and Chechnya □ □ Sharper complementary divisions in Chechnya Cleavage structure theory helps explain greater levels of conflict between the Russian government and the region of Chechnya Topic in Countries China Emerging class divisions; resentment among rural poor; ethnic minorities in border regions Ethnicity and region are the most common complementary group identities because of minority concentrations in border areas Balancing act between integrating and accommodating minority groups and repressing those seen to be politically threatening In Theory and Practice Primordialism, Constructivism, and Identity in China Primordialism Identity groups form naturally, based on deep-rooted features Constructivism Identity groups form through “social construction” “Radical Middle Position” Named by Historian Ronald G. Suny Contends that identity is constructed, but efforts to construct it are limited by existing conditions Examination of ethnicity in China supports the radical middle position Topic in Countries Iran Religious tensions between majority Shi’ites and minority Sunnis; large ethnic minorities (Azeris, Kurds); gender represents important source of tension due to erosion of women’s rights Main complementary group identities are ethnicity and region, with the Azeri and Kurdish populations regionally concentrated Discrimination against non-Shi’ites; close monitoring of ethnic groups large enough to form nationalist movements In Theory and Practice Feminist Theory and Iran Feminist Theory Focuses on the importance of gender and obstacles women face in achieving political, economic, and social equality Feminists in comparative politics highlight patriarchal state structures Iran is Classic Example of the Contentions of Feminist Theory Status of women is a major policy issue in contemporary Iran President Ahmadinejad has pushed for even more conservative/traditional gender roles THINK AND DISCUSS In your opinion, which theory related to identity presented in this chapter’s “In Theory and Practice” boxes is most convincing? Why?