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The Deadly Ethnic Riot


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Table of Contents

A Note on Place Names 1. Say It with Murder 2. Ethnic Boundaries, Riot Boundaries 3. The Riot Episode 4. Selective Targeting 5. Target-Group Characteristics 6. An Economy of Antipathy: Target Selection and the Imperatives of Violence 7. Organizers and Participants 8. The Occasions for Violence 9. The Social Environment for Killing 10. Location, Diffusion, and Recurrence 11. Aims, Effects, and Functions 12. Violence and Quiescence 13. The Calculus of Passion Index

About the Author

Donald L. Horowitz is the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University. He is the author of, among other books, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (California, 2001) and A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (California, 1991), which won the Ralph Bunche Prize of the American Political Science Association.


Horowitz (law and political science, Duke Univ.; Ethnic Groups in Conflict) defines his subject as "an intense, sudden.... lethal attack by civilian members of one ethnic group on civilian members of another." The riot is both deliberately planned and consistently patterned, an important finding based on exhaustive sources, cross-national comparisons, and segmented analyses. The progression moves from a state of underlying "antipathy" of one group toward another, through the perception of collective threat, to a culmination in murderous violence. The timing and scope of the riot depend on the attackers' sense of "uncertainty, impunity, and justification." Thus, riots are more likely when the relative power of the aggressors and their target is in flux, rumor is rife, authorities inadvertently or deliberately offer rioters a "green light," and killing restores "justice." The groups and circumstances studied vary from episodic U.S. lynching to endemic sectarian conflict in South Asia. This definitive work is recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.DZachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Makes an important contribution to our understanding of ethnic conflict [and] will be a source of testable hypotheses for years to come."-Stephen M. Saideman, American Political Science Review "This definitive work is recommended for all academic and larger public libraries."-Library journal "Horowitz's book is comprehensive, illuminating, unprecedented in scope and absolutely fascinating. It may be just the thing for realists-yes, you know them as pessimists-who are looking for some chilly truths about the sphinx that has haunted the century past and may yet haunt the century to come."-Washington Post Book World "This magisterial yet stimulating study is marked by the comprehensiveness of its empirical data, the author's keen analytic sensibility, and his gift for the telling phrase. The Deadly Ethnic Riot is that rare combination of theoretical analysis and practical advice. It not only signals a breakthrough in our understanding of the morphology and dynamics of ethnic riots but offers eminently useful strategies for containing these deadly events."-Science

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