Ethnic Cleansing

Running head: ETHNIC CLEANSING 1
Ethnic Cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is defined as the killing of people who come from one religious or
ethnic group in an area by the inhabitants of another area. Ethnic cleansing relates to similar
forms of violence and oppression, and some of these forms include forceful population
transfers and genocide. According to Wolff (2004), forceful transfers involve moving a group
of people from one region to a different one, and it is usually after a state policy. Another
form is exile or banishment which is applied to groups or individuals. On the other hand,
genocide is also a form of violence because it involves killing the people who come from a
specific ethnic group. Mass killings often take place during genocide because people kill each
other based on language, looks, and even skin colour, all of which are easily noticeable
(Naimark, 2002).
Nonetheless, there are some potential benefits and drawbacks that depend on whether
the concept is defined narrowly or expansively. One of the potential benefits of the narrow
definition of ethnic cleansing is that it can bring about societal cohesion (Brubaker, 1995).
Since the members are able to notice their differences, they can use this as a way to identify
themselves uniquely. Secondly, economic development is a potential benefit because people
from different ethnic groups offer different expertise, ideas, and experiences. However, there
are also some drawbacks of ethnic cleansing, one of which is that it results in poverty and
conflict (Mann, 2005). When ethnic cleansing takes place, it causes inhabitants to leave their
investments and property which makes them a poor people in the next place that they settle.
Another drawback is potential leaders and workers lose their lives in the process, and the
community suffers quite a blow.
Brubaker, R. (1995). Aftermaths of empire and the unmixing of peoples: historical and
comparative perspectives. Ethnic and racial studies, 18(2), 189-218.
Mann, M. (2005). The dark side of democracy: explaining ethnic cleansing. Cambridge
University Press.
Naimark, N. M. (2002). Fires of Hatred: Ethnic cleansing in twentieth-century Europe.
Harvard University Press.
Wolff, S. (2004). Can forced population transfers resolve selfdetermination conflicts? A
European perspective. Journal Of Contemporary European Studies, 12(1), 11-29.

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