Ethnic cleansing as a method of ethnic conflict regulation : a case study of post-war Palestine and Czechoslovakia / by Sean Peterson.
"Ethnic cleansing," a phrase associated with the former Yugoslavia, is one form of macro-scale ethnic conflict regulation that contemporary political actors have at their disposal. Ethnic cleansing, the mass expulsion of an unwanted ethnic group from its territory, aims to create a more ethnically homogeneous state. Ethnic cleansing has been employed at various junctures throughout history; however, the causes of this method of regulating conflict are not well understood. Similarly, the consequences that result from its use are unclear. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the causes and the consequences of ethnic cleansing. What causes an ethnic group to be expelled? Why do expulsions happen at certain times? What are the consequences of ethnic cleansing for the expelling and the expelled group? These questions are addressed in the first chapter, where a theory of ethnic cleansing is developed. The theory first provides a detailed definition of ethnic cleansing and then it endeavours to explain the causes and consequences of ethnic cleansing. Finally, the first chapter examines some strategies that can be used to prevent ethnic cleansing. Chapters two and three are case studies that serve to reinforce the theory of ethnic cleansing. Post-war Palestine and Czechoslovakia are two relatively recent examples of ethnic cleansing. Both cases share some similar causal elements, and they also effectively display the different consequences of ethnic cleansing. During the creation of the state of Israel, the majority of the Palestinian population was expelled from their homes in Palestine. The Sudeten Germans were expelled from their homes in the Sudetenland toward the end of the Second World War. These expulsions were largely carried out by ethnic Czechs; however, the latter stages of the expulsion occurred with the consent of the victorious powers present at the Potsdam Conference of 1945.
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