Opportunity, ethnic identity and resources in ethnic mobilisation : the cases of the Kurds in Iraq and the Abkhaz in Georgia
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The cases of the Kurds in Iraq and the Abkhaz in Georgia were chosen to illustrate how ethnic entrepreneurs play a crucial role in the ethnic mobilisation process. The study argues that in both cases a combination of variables was at work. These cases seem unlikely comparisons at first. The primary challenge appeared to be dealing with cases that involve different contexts and identities. However, in both cases entrepreneurs exploited an appropriate domestic environment to start the process and they perceived the opportunities provided by external intervention and the state’s policy towards their groups as incentives. Choosing the intermediate variables depends on the understanding that each one provides part of the explanation. Political opportunity structure directs the attention to the cost-benefit analyses of ethnic entrepreneurs and their perceptions of the available opportunity. Ethnic identity politicisation illustrates the role of ethnic entrepreneurs in choosing and activating identities. Finally, resource mobilisation is essential in conflict as any conflict requires resources that are consumed throughout its various stages. These resources are also used by ethnic entrepreneurs to reward their followers and guarantee loyalty, or sometimes to provide material incentives to reassure those unconvinced of the movement's potential success against the central authorities.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2021-05-18
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 18th May 2021
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