Present day generations live in an assorted society where many ethnicities and cultures cohabitate. As a result, many scholars and academicians have raised many questions over this cohabitation. Many of them wonder; is ethnic conflict inevitable; why do ethnic conflicts occur; and why cant people from different ethnic groups live peacefully? In his article “Geography as a Motivation and Opportunity: Group Concentration and Ethic conflict,” Nils B. Weidman seeks to establish how and whether geographical concentration sparks ethnic conflict.
In this insightful and compelling article, the author reveals why group concentration is a geographic facet that requires a close analysis in the study of ethnic conflicts. He begins by asserting that a group concentration culminates from the settlement of a single, coherent cluster in the same settlement area (Weidmann, 2009). Through his analysis, as well as citing other authors, Weidmann establishes that group concentration is a determinant factor of ethnic conflict.
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He attributes this to the fact that many concentrated group often consider their territory as their god-given homeland. As a result, they are more than willing to fight till death for what they believe is rightfully theirs. Another reason as to why concentrated groups fight outside forces or ethnic groups is because they face fewer obstacles in overcoming collective action problems. Weidmann (2009) holds that this attribute enables them to successfully mobilize for conflict with ease. Additionally, Weidmann reveals that concentrated populations often find it easy to coordinate through collective actions, thus securing and defending their supposed territories become more feasible.
In summary, Weidmann hypothesizes that the probability of ethnic conflicts arising in territorial concentrated areas is high. He asserts territories, which are highly concentrated with members of a particular ethnic group as at a higher risk to be involved in conflicts. His second hypothesis claims that ethnic groups with dispersed populations are at a lower risk to be involved in ethnic conflicts. In my opinion, Nils’ arguments are insightful on how and whether geographical concentration sparks ethnic conflict.
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