Ethnic Conflict in the Modern World-System: The Dialectics of Counter-Hegemonic Resistance in an Age of Transition

Wilma A. Dunaway


This article recasts debates about the extent and causes of ethnic con?ict within the world-system framework. Ethni?cation and indigenism are inherent structural contradictions of the modern world-system, and there is the highest incidence of ethnic resistance at the peak of a hegemons ascendancy. Consequently, there has not been a dramatic increase in ethnic con?ict since the end of the Cold War. However, ethnic mobilizations pose an increased challenge to the continued functioning of the world-system during the current age of transition. Ethnic mobilizations erode the capitalist civilizational project and increase costs to the system in ways that exacerbate the growing pro?t squeeze. I identify ?ve ways in which the counter-hegemonic mobilizations of ethnic minorities are costly to the world-system and can push it toward bifurcation and transformation.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Wilma A. Dunaway

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