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Ethnicity after mass violence. A study of the nature and transformation of ethnic 'groupness' in Rwanda and Burundi.

Despite the slogan 'never again', the world continues to be plagued by violence that is groupselective and aimed at the extermination of people belonging to certain social categories. This type of mass categorical violence often has an ethnic dimension involving members of majority and minority groups . Popular wisdom seems to be that ethnicity – or the emotional sense of belonging to a specific group and distinction from or even antipathy to outsiders – is the source of this type of violence. This research project aims to empirically demonstrate that this hypothesis is wrong. Instead, based on what is called a constructivist account of ethnicity, the proposed research activities aim to demonstrate that the salience of ethnicity is the outcome of mass categorical violence not its underlying cause. In addition, the research activities aim to verify whether, to what extent and why the salience of ethnicity following mass categorical violence is declining. To do so, the research project will examine 'ways of seeing the world' (cognition) and 'ways of acting in the world' (behavior). The former will be studied by making use of an available and unique database of over 700 life histories from people that experienced mass categorical violence in two case study countries: Rwanda and Burundi. The latter will be examined through the in-depth study of the daily behavior of a number of these individuals carefully selected based on an analysis of the available life history dataset.
Date:1 Jan 2019 →  Today
Disciplines:Ethnicity and migration studies, Social and cultural anthropology, Security, peace and conflict