Integrated-Blame Game Theory of Ethnicity and its Significance: Empirical Analysis of the Evolution of Major Inter-ethnic Conflicts of the Modern History
Inter-ethnic conflicts and violence, war and genocide are expressions frequently used to describe human social interactions. Due to political monopoly considered equivalent to socio-cultural and economic monopoly, the historical evolution of some countries is marked by the struggle for political power through violence between their different ethnic groups. This leads to cycles of violence since once one group seizes power; it exercises hegemony to maintain it. This is done through attempts to re-write the history of the nation in favor of the dominant group and attempts to manipulate national and international opinion to legitimize its political monopoly. Due to misinterpretation, intentional twisting or misappropriation of historical facts or myths, the conflicting versions of one history create latent causes of further outbreaks of violence. In the seemingly peaceful period mainly due to repressive measures, the social arena is full of hate speeches through arguments and counter-arguments; this is the blame game over contested but common national history or myths. Conflicting parties accuse each other of wrongdoings and the felt victimhood leads to the politicization of history and disguised or open ethnic mobilization by political elites on both sides. In modern era of internet and social media, conflicting parties engage in what can be termed cyber-war. While other theories of ethnicity were formulated to understand the nature and evolution of ethnicity, considering the fact that intrinsically ethnicity or belonging to a given ethnic group is not problematic, they fail to account for causes and interventional guidelines in inter-ethnic conflicts remediation. The aim of this paper is to present the merits of integrated-blame game theory of ethnicity in understanding the causes and guide interventions in contemporary conflicts remediation by reviewing the historical evolution of conflicts in Ethiopia and Rwanda.