Ethnic conflict

An ethnic conflict is a conflict between two or more contending ethnic groups. While the source of the conflict may be political, social, economic or religious, the individuals in conflict must expressly fight for their ethnic group's position within society. This final criterion differentiates ethnic conflict from other forms of struggle.[1][2]

"Чеченская молитва" (Chechen's prayer) by Mikhail Evstafiev depicts a Chechen man praying during the battle of Grozny in 1995.
A refugee camp for displaced Rwandans in Zaire following the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Academic explanations of ethnic conflict generally fall into one of three schools of thought: primordialist, instrumentalist or constructivist. Recently, several political scientists have argued for either top-down or bottom-up explanations for ethnic conflict. Intellectual debate has also focused on whether ethnic conflict has become more prevalent since the end of the Cold War, and on devising ways of managing conflicts, through instruments such as consociationalism and federalisation.