Social distance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus region of Russia: Inter and intra-ethnic attitudes and identities

Kristin M. Bakke, Xun Cao, John O'Loughlin, Michael D. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines attitudinal differences and similarities among ethnic groups in conflict-affected societies. Conventional wisdom tells us that societies that have experienced violent struggles in which individuals of different ethnic groups have (been) mobilized against each other are likely to become polarized along ethnic lines. Indeed, both policy-makers and scholars often assume that such divisions are some of the main challenges that must be overcome to restore peace after war. We comparatively examine this conventional wisdom by mapping dimensions of social distance among 4,000 survey respondents in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus region of Russia. The surveys were carried out in December 2005. Using multidimensional scaling methods, we do not find patterns of clear attitudinal cleavages among members of different ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nor do we find patterns of clear ethnic division in the North Caucasus, although our social distance matrices reveal a difference between Russians and ethnic minority groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-253
Number of pages27
JournalNations and Nationalism
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations

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