Causes of conflict
Identity is a sense of belonging to a group or geographical area where there is the same generic character, or a similarity of distinguishing character or personality. The identity may be determined by, or be apparent inn,ethnicity, language and religion. People can be very protective of their identity and seek to maintain it at all costs.
Identity can be evident at a number of scales:
· Nationalism – loyalty and devotion to a nation. This can create a sense of national consciousness, exalting that nation above all others. The culture and interests of only that
· Regionalism – consciousness of, and loyalty to, a nation or a distinct region with a population that shares similarities. It can sometimes lead to the development of a political social system based on one or more such areas
· Localism – affection for a particular place. Localism rarely manifests itself in a political sense. However, it can be demonstrated as ‘nimbyism’ (‘not in my back yard’) which
occurs when people are reluctant to have their local area affected by development for the national good.
Ethnicity is the grouping of people according to their ethnic origin or characteristics. In narrow terms it describes the racial make-up of a population – whether people are Caucasoid, mongolid, negroid or Polynesian. More recently the term has broadened in meaning to refer to groups of people classed according to one or more common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic or cultural origins or backgrounds.
In a geographical sense, culture is the customary beliefs, social norms and traits of a racial, religious or social group and the set of shared
attitudes, values and practices that characterise that group. The origins of many groups are historical and may be lost in time. Hence, as with identity, culture is something of which groups of people are inherently proud, and which they seek to protect. Within the same nation, for example the UK, France or Italy there are many variations in culture – this diversity enriches the country.
Territory is a geographic area belonging to, or under the jurisdiction of, a governmental authority. The territory may be an administrative subdivision of a country, or a geographic area dependent on an external government, but having some degree of autonomy (for example a country which is a colonial possession). Conflict can occur where there is dispute about who does or should have authority over an area. This can happen in areas where there are low levels of population (e.g. deserts) or where border depend on natural phenomena (e.g. rivers, estuaries and mountains).
Ideology is a systematic body of concepts regarding human life or culture. It can result in a set of integrated assertions, theories and aims that together constitute a socio-political programme. Some ideologies can be extreme and at odds with those elsewhere in the world and their supporters may seek to press their views on other by force. The Western views of democracy, and the alternative views of the Taliban in Afghanistan, could both be described as ideologies.
Patterns of conflict
There are four main scales of conflict in the
· International – where conflict involves the participation of more than one country
· National – where the conflict takes place within one country
· Regional – where the conflict takes place within an area of one country, or across the borders of one or more countries
· Local – where the conflict is restricted to a small part of one region of a country