TitlePreventing ethnic violence with local capacities
NameVaitla, Srinivas (author), Langhorne, Richard (chair), Ferguson, R. Brian (internal member), Schock, Kurt (internal member), Hart, Barry (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
DescriptionThe research questions are: How have civil society organizations (CSOs) in India prevented Hindu-Muslim riots? And what can these experiences teach us about building local capacities around the world to prevent ethnic riots? This study seeks to elucidate patterns of institutional identities, relationships, and micro-level processes that can improve CSOs‘ ability to prevent ethnic riots. The Hindu-Muslim conflict offers a specific case from which a general framework for CSO interventions is induced. There is little systematic comparison of successful micro-level processes of riot prevention. Anecdotes of CSO successes do not offer guidance on why they were successful and if they are relevant for other CSOs in other places. Understanding these successes and challenges in a comparative framework, rather than as isolated events, is not only important for developing preventive mechanisms in India, but it can also offer lessons for increasing capacities for prevention in other multi-ethnic societies. Interviews, based on questionnaires that were developed, were the main form of data gathering. Two types of comparisons was done: 1) comparing successful and unsuccessful cases of prevention between organizations in a city, and 2) comparing successful cases in different cities and noting similarities and differences in institutions and strategies. In addition to specific lessons detailed in the thesis, the following broad principles were uncovered as important for effective prevention. 1) Regular contact with potential victims and leaders in communally sensitive communities is the foundation for prevention. 2) Development CSOs in the field are best placed to conduct operational prevention because their work in communally sensitive areas has earned them the trust of residents, they have detailed knowledge of the area, and have more funding. However, peacebuilding organizations have the expertise on conflict prevention, and thus should collaborate with development organizations. 3) Relationships with police will impact the effectiveness of intervention. 4) CSOs should create operational prevention networks with CSOs and build relationships with actors in the community in order to increase their power to lobby political authorities during crises, increase resources for prevention, and to scale up the impact of their activities to affect a wider area.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Srinivas Vaitla
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.