Are Religious Minorities More Militant than Other Ethnic Minorities?

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Date Published:

Jan 1, 2003


Since the Iranian Revolution and especially since the end of the Cold War, religion has come to be associated with militancy. Conflicts between gropus of different religions are perceived by many as more intense. Similarly, religious groups involved in conflict are perceived as more militant. Ethnic conflicts that have fueled this perception include the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the ethnic rebellions in Chechnya, Suda, Cyprus, India, and Indonesia and the civil wars in Lebanon, Afghanistan, and the former Yugoslavia. Fundamentalist movements, especially Islamic movements, have also contributed to this perception. This article uses data from the Minorities at Risk dataset (MAR), as well as data collected independently, to ascertain whether this perception is correct for ethnic conflicts. That is, the article asks: are ethnoreligious minorities really more militant than other ethnic minorities?

Last updated on 03/25/2015