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Causes and Consequences of Irredentism

English title Causes and Consequences of Irredentism
Applicant Cederman Lars-Erik
Number 156339
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Global Governance CIS ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.04.2015 - 31.03.2018
Approved amount 457'346.00
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Keywords (4)

Irredentism; Borders; Transnational ethnic groups; Ethnic conflict

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Dieses Projekt untersucht transnationale ethnische Verbindungen und wie diese die Dynamik von irredentistischen Forderungen und Konflikten beeinflussen.
Lay summary

Irredentismus, definiert als Forderung bestehende Landesgrenzen zu verändern um alle Mitglieder einer ethnischen Gruppe in einem Staat zu vereinen, ist eine Gefahr für die geopolitische Stabilität der aktuellen Weltordnung. Seit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges haben irredentistische Spannungen zu diversen Konflikten geführt, wie zum Beispiel im ehemaligen Jugoslawien, zwischen Armenien und Aserbaidschan, oder erst kürzlich in der Ukraine. Unter der Vorbedingung dass Siedlungsgebiete ethnischer Gruppen durch Landesgrenzen getrennt sind, bilden irredentistische Konflikte eine Kombination aus Sezessionsbegehren, Staatsteilungen und Zusammenführungen. Jedoch gibt es viele transnationale Gruppen, die friedlich sind, deshalb ist wichtig, die kausalen Mechanismen zu verstehen, wie und wann Irredentismus entsteht und wie irredentistische Forderungen verschiedene Konflikttypen wie Bürgerkriege oder zwischenstaatliche Auseinandersetzungen beeinflussen.

Um die Ursachen und Konsequenzen von Irredentismus systematisch untersuchen zu können, beinhaltet dieses Projekt umfassende Datensammlungen zu (1) ethnischen Gruppen, die in mehr als einem Land leben,  (2) historischen Staatsgrenzen und (3), ergänzend zu bestehenden Daten über ethnische Bürgerkriege, ethnischen Dimensionen von zwischenstaatlichen Konflikten. Diese Datenressourcen und unsere Analysemittel tragen zur Erarbeitung von effektiven Strategien bei, welche Frieden und Stabilität fördern.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.03.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Essex Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Geneva Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of North Texas United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Yale University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
International Relations Lecture Series Individual talk Redemption through Rebellion: Linking Border Change to Ethnonationalist Conflict 03.04.2018 University of Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America Cederman Lars-Erik;
Comparative Politics Lecture Series Individual talk Redemption through Rebellion: Linking Border Change to Ethnonationalist Conflict 02.04.2018 Stanford University, United States of America Cederman Lars-Erik;
Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association Talk given at a conference Reunification through Rebellion: How Border Change Fuels Irredentist War 02.09.2017 San Francisco, United States of America Cederman Lars-Erik;
Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association Talk given at a conference The Roots of Irredentism: Explaining Territorial Claims 02.09.2017 San Francisco, CA, United States of America Rüegger Seraina;
Annual Meeting of Swiss Political Science Association Talk given at a conference The Roots of Irredentism: Explaining Territorial Claims 11.01.2017 St Gallen, Switzerland Rüegger Seraina;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
143213 Ethnic Inclusion and Power-Sharing Institutions 01.11.2012 Project funding
178378 The Long-Term Consequences of Border Change 01.04.2018 Doc.Mobility
147210 Ethnic Power Relations and Conflict in Fragile States 01.01.2014 r4d (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development)

Abstract

Russia's recent decision to annex Crimea serves as a dramatic reminder that irredentism still poses a major threat to geopolitical stability in today's world. This case illustrates that incongruity between political and ethnic boundaries continues to be a major source of domestic and international instability. Gaining a better understanding of transnational ethnic connections and how they affect the dynamics of irredentist violence is crucial to devise effective strategies that promote national and international stability and peace. Therefore, this project investigates how, and under what circumstances, irredentism emerges and how it may trigger different types of conflict, including both civil and interstate war. Our main expectation is that irredentism is particularly common among those transnational ethnic groups that were previously ruled by co-ethnics, but subsequently lost this status because of border changes. With respect to their opportunities to effect border changes, we assume that the geopolitical context determines the irredentists' chances of success. This project engages in both the upgrading of existing datasets and the collection of new data on trans-border ethnic kin, geo-referenced historical state borders and military interstate disputes with an ethnic dimension. The results are not only published in articles but also via our online data portal GROWup, which is upgraded to make relational data available to academics and the broader public.
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