ANU Lecture - Ethnicity and separatism

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Lecture to ANU Strategic Studies students on ethnicity and separatism. Case-studies of Bougainville and South Sudan, with discussion of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

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ANU Lecture - Ethnicity and separatism

  1. 1. 1 Separatism and ethnic violence Gerard McCarthy- PhD Candidate, International, Political, Strategic Studies (IPS), ANU April 28th 2014
  2. 2. 2 Outline • First hour – separatism and ethnic violence: – Definition of key terms – How do separatism and ethnic violence challenge nation-states? – Case studies: (Bougainville; South Sudan) – R2P & Intervention • Second hour – counterinsurgency: – Guest lecturer, Dr Russell Glenn, SDSC
  3. 3. What is ‘societal security’? • Middle ground between state and human security • A society relies on its members sharing an identity • The most important unit of society is the nation-state 3
  4. 4. What is the ‘nation- state’? • Two separate ideas: – State: eg. China, Spain – Nation: eg. Tibet, Basque • What is a ‘nation’? – A type of society characterised by: • A common (often cultural or ethnic) identity; • Self-awareness and self-differentiation; and • A continuity of existence over time. • Why link ‘nation’ and ‘state’? – Idea that strong states need a united society 4
  5. 5. What is ‘nationalism’? • Ideology that links nation to state • Three themes: –Autonomy –Unity –Identity 5
  6. 6. What is ‘ethnicity’? • A perception of commonality and belonging • Perception based on: – Language – Religion – Culture – History – Physical appearance – Ancestry • Visual ethnicity especially ‘sticky’/durable 6
  7. 7. How do ethnicity & nationalism interact? • Ethnicity is different to nationalism • Rarely clear cut, especially in AP w/ large ethnic minorities. • Related to processes/symbols of ‘nation-making’ (flag, official language, curriculum). • 6 • Highly contentious when linked: • (eg. Burma & Burman Buddhist nationalism) • Potential for competing ‘nationalisms’ within single state: eg. Burma, Indonesia (West Papua).
  8. 8. What is ‘self-determination’? • Post-colonial borders (often arbitrary) created multi-nation states • 1960 UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial countries and Peoples): – Principle: right of national groups to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or interference • 3 expressions of self-determination: – 1) free association w/ independent State (NZ & Cook Is) – 2) integration into independent State (Crimea); – 3) independence/separation (South Sudan). 7
  9. 9. Decolonisation in the Asia-Pacific • ‘States without nations’: – Culturally and ethnically diverse – State borders divided pre-existing social, cultural and ethnic groups • ‘Second wave’ of colonisation 8
  10. 10. Patterns of ethnic grievances • Ethnic conflict: – Ethnic groups compete for primacy within a state (ethnic security dilemma); and/or – Ethnic groups rebel against state/for control of state. • Ethnic separatism: – Ethnic minorities develop a political consciousness, identify as a nation and demand self-determination • Can involve: • Cultural cleansing and homongenisation (govt & rebels) • Insurgency • Genocide/ ethnic cleansing (govt & rebels) • Separatism 9
  11. 11. How does separatism challenge nation- states? • Separatism = creation of new, separate states: (Balkanisation?); or legitimate secession (East Timor?) • A challenge because: – Threatens societal security – Call into question existing state boundaries – Loss of state revenue (resources) – Proliferation of new states – 26 since 1990 – 70+ separatist movements around globe • Asia-Pacific examples: – East Timor; Aceh (Indonesia) – Moro (Philippines) – Tamils (Sri Lanka) – Tibet and Xinjiang (China) 10
  12. 12. How do separatism and ethnic violence end? • Stalemate • Counterinsurgency • Peace agreement • Nation-building • Autonomy arrangements • Referendum on independence 11
  13. 13. Case study 1: Bougainville 12
  14. 14. Case study 1: Bougainville cont. • History: – 1880s – Colonised by Germany (German New Guinea) – 1921 – Australia granted mandate over German New Guinea – 1947 – Australia merged New Guinea and Papua • Differences between Bougainville and the rest of PNG: – Matrilineal vs. patrilineal language and culture groups – Catholics vs. Protestants – Physical appearance – Geographical remoteness 13
  15. 15. Case study 1: Bougainville cont. • Bougainvillean ethnic identity → national identity: – 1972 – Panguna mine opened • No consultation and strong opposition • Environmental and social costs of mine • Sentiment in favour of separatism • 45% of PNGs GDP – 1975 – first unilateral declaration of independence – 1988 – demand for US$10 billion compensation – 1989 – Bougainville ‘crisis’ began – 1990 – Blockade imposed; second unilateral declaration of independence 14
  16. 16. Case study 1: Bougainville cont. • Bougainville crisis – two dimensions: – Separatist struggle; and – Internal conflict (factionalism) • Impact of crisis: – 20,000 Bougainvillean deaths – 60,000 Bougainvilleans internally displaced – Infrastructure and private sector assets destroyed – Massive economic impact on PNG – Challenged legitimacy of PNG state 15
  17. 17. Case study 1: Bougainville cont. • Solving separatist struggle: – 1997: Sandline affair – 1997-2001: Peace talks (NZ, Aus) – 2001: Bougainville Peace Agreement: • Referendum on independence • Autonomy • Demilitarisation • Foreign Peacekeeping – 2005: Autonomous Bougainville Government & Int. capacity building/state-building – 2015-2020?: Independence Referendum? 16
  18. 18. Case study 2: South Sudan 17
  19. 19. Case study 2: South Sudan cont. • History: – 1869: colonised by the British – 1954: Sudanese independence – 1955: First Sudan Civil War – 1972: Addis Ababa Agreement (Southern Autonomy) – 1983: Declaration of Shari’a law/end of Southern Autonomy. – 1983-2005: Second Sudan Civil War (against north and in south) • Differences between South Sudan and the rest of Sudan: – Religion: Christian/Animist vs. Muslim – Appearance: Black African vs Arab – Geography: wetlands vs desert – Governance: Limited autonomy ever provided to South 13
  20. 20. Case study 2: South Sudan cont. • Separatist struggle: – 1983-2005: Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and warring southern factions – 2 million dead (direct & indirect) – 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement + UN PKO – 2011 Referendum on South Sudan’s Independence – July 2011: South Sudan Independence 19
  21. 21. Case study 2: South Sudan cont. 2011-2014: – UN Peace keeping operation and state building support – Divisions in military and Government of South Sudan re control of major political party. – Coup attempt December 2013 20 – Civil war and ethnic violence – Raises question of sovereignty and preventative intervention or R2P (Responsibility to Protect)? – Challenge of addressing roots of conflict (Sudan & South Sudan)
  22. 22. Summary • Societal security useful to understanding role of identity in conflict. • Criticism: fails to consider degree of fluidity/volatility in feelings of belonging and identity (individual, collective and national). • Nation-making is highly dialectic process: ie interaction between state and it’s constituent parts, influenced by history (Bougainville, South Sudan, West Papua). • Degradation to ethnic violence/cleansing raises q. of sovereignty and R2P. 20

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