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Ethnic Conflict, Migration, and Globalization. Presented By: Laura Witherspoon. Migration. Globalization has weakened the concept of the Westphalian nation-state because the porosity of national borders allows for increased global flows of people and ideologies

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ethnic conflict migration and globalization

Ethnic Conflict, Migration, and Globalization

Presented By: Laura Witherspoon

  • Globalization has weakened the concept of the Westphalian nation-state because the porosity of national borders allows for increased global flows of people and ideologies
  • This increase in mobility of people across national borders and the globalization of the nation-state has led to deep ethnic, religious, and ideological conflict
  • The changing role of the nation-state and its ability to exercise its sovereignty is central to the discussion on migration of peoples
migration cont d
Migration cont’d
  • The inappropriate and arbitrary drawing of nation-state borders in the post-colonialism era has exacerbated the effects of globalization
    • Poverty and economic inequality often cause migration
    • Other push and pull factors?
    • Increase in global awareness and culture clashes
  • “There has undoubtedly been a great deal of population movement associated with globalization” (Ritzer)
  • Despite more int’l openness from globalization, governments are reluctant to liberalize migration.
emigrational conflict
Emigrational Conflict
  • Labor migration is often perceived as threatening to a host country
    • Causes fear and resentment of immigrants
  • Suspicion and bitterness toward immigrants stimulates anti-immigration policies, as in the European Union
    • Greek ‘Golden Dawn’
    • French ‘Front National’
  • Racism and xenophobia
  • Psychological and physical divide between migrants and the host country population
conflict and globalization
Conflict and Globalization
  • Question to think about: Has globalization increased, decreased, or stalled ethnic conflict?
  • Ethnic conflict is not necessarily the result of ancient or inherent hatred between different ethnicities
    • Ex: Hutus and Tutsis
  • Some scholars claim ethnic conflict is less lethal in developed and economically open societies because economic globalization (which is beneficial to prosperity) discourages such violence
  • BUT what about the instability of multicultural societies unaccustomed to increasing immigration?
greek golden dawn
Greek ‘Golden Dawn’
  • Golden Dawn is a neo-Nazi political party dedicated to protecting Greek heritage and culture from foreigners
  • Seized upon economic instability from debt-crisis in 2009 to push anti-immigration agenda
    • Default and fiscal austerity felt by everyone in Greece, but blamed on illegal immigrants
  • Effects of neo-liberal globalization have collided with the concept of a nation state with an identity and borders
    • Affects a person’s ability to identify with their changing national, and even ethnic, culture
greek golden dawn1
Greek ‘Golden Dawn’

Golden Dawn protesting for a “Greece for Greeks”

french front national
French ‘Front National’
  • Front National is a far-right political party whose agenda revolves around anti-immigration and xenophobia
  • Focuses on differences in values between secular France and strictly religious Muslim immigrants
    • By law, religion is not allowed in public locales
    • Wearing of the burka and headscarf, prayer in the streets
    • “We only submit to God and no one else” ( )
  • Leader Marine Le Pen sees an ‘Islamization’ of French culture
    • Expected Islam to adapt to France, but France is adapting to Islam
identity and globalization
Identity and Globalization
  • Increasing loyalty to ethnic identity
  • To those who view globalization as a homogenizing force, the need to devote themselves to maintaining their cultural identity is strong
  • Esp. in cases where national borders are redrawn around groups of people
    • New national identities forced on existing ethnic identities
    • Ex: Alsace-Lorraine
    • Ex: Kurds
ex parisian banlieue
Ex: Parisian Banlieue
  • Violence and rioting in French suburbs is consequence of both ethnic and identity conflict
    • Ethnic and religious friction with Parisians (white, Catholic vs. African, Muslim)
    • Feeling of separation from native countries/traditions
    • Prejudice makes assimilation into French society difficult
  • Suburban ‘VillesNouvelles’ designed to house North African labor migrants in isolation from Paris proper
  • Result is divided population (physically and mentally)
ex parisian banlieue cont d
Ex: Parisian Banlieue cont’d

Protesters use the Internet to coordinate with other ‘villes nouvelles’

For them, rioting is about garnering social attention

ex parisian banlieue cont d1
Ex: Parisian Banlieue cont’d
  • French-born children of immigrants feel disconnected from both parent’s native culture and their own French culture
    • More global openness, more inconsistencies in identity
      • Ex: Secularism and banning of headscarves/burka
    • Globalization is less about homogenization, more about becoming acultural
  • Root of the problem is economic globalization
    • Promises to increase global integration and reduce poverty
    • BUT pushes low-skill jobs away from developed countries
  • Migrants and natives alike vying for the same scarce jobs
u s mexico border
U.S.-Mexico Border
  • 1/10th of the US population was born outside the country
  • 85% of Mexicans who cross into the US border do so illegally
  • Work opportunities and standards of living in the US far exceed those in Mexico
    • Strong pull factors for labor migration
    • Labor migrants leave behind families, but…
    • US-Mexico border has become increasingly difficult to breach
    • Illegal immigrants rely on the underground economy
  • An effect of increased border security is keeping immigrants in
u s mexico border1
U.S.-Mexico Border
  • Right-wing politics and conservatives tend to believe that illegal (and legal) immigrants push down all wages
    • They resent the fact that illegal immigrants use public services paid for by tax-paying citizens
  • Bottom-line: The uncertainty, fear, and resentment that revolve around immigration are problematic
  • “Free mobility is a universal and basic human right”
what to take away
What to Take Away?
  • Migration still faces many barriers, unlike other global flows
    • Barriers are based on Westphalian state and its borders
  • Globalization has rendered the Westphalian concept somewhat obsolete since the role of nation-states is changing (because global flows penetrate it more often)
      • Openness and external influences across borders erodes the sovereignty of the ‘Westphalian’ state
      • Ex: migration threatens national identity and economy
  • Globalization has facilitated greater migration and consequently greater internal, territorial, and ethnic conflict
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Peace through interdependence?
    • Globalization has reduced interstate disputes overall, but not territorial, internal, or ethnic conflicts
  • Globalization has NOT flattened the world (borders are still highly important)
    • Globalization makes it easier for nations to extend their power beyond borders to protect citizens, but limits power to protect borders
    • Interfering with sovereignty of other nations or groups conflict
  • Without access to the global market, the resource base for many internal conflicts (think Opium/drugs/etc.) would disappear
  • “By increasing the prospective gains that may result from settled borders, globalization offers incentives for a well-bordered world”