Conflicts Without Borders

Conflicts Without Borders

Mini Teaser: How to contain the virus of ethnic conflict.

by Author(s): Stefan Wolff

Settling ethnic conflicts before they can spread and preventing them before they happen would of course be the most sensible strategy of all. Yet, we have to be realistic about the extent to which this is possible now and in the future. Effective policies prioritize political solutions but are willing to draw on a wide range of other options, including military and judicial ones, to deal with the unholy trinity of ethnic conflict, organized crime and international terrorism. This is the best way to remove the motivations, seize the means and eliminate the opportunities to allow ethnic conflict to spread. Taking this approach will not resolve all ethnic conflicts or prevent the emergence of new ones, but it will put an effective stop to the spread of existing ones.


Stefan Wolff is a professor of political science and the director of the Centre for International Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution at the University of Nottingham in England. He is also the author of Ethnic Conflict: A Global Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2006).

Essay Types: Essay