Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

First Advisor

Joseph Weinberg, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

This research project explores factors affected levels of ethnic violence in the Western Balkans in the 1990’s. What caused the violent outbreak and further spread of civil unrest of the different ethnic groups, culminating in the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990’s? Following a comparative analysis format, this project analyzes secondary sources such as government documents, reports by international human rights organizations and theoretical work from the field of international relations to help answer this question. While there are many factors that influence ethnic conflict and minority violence, NATO influence seemed to have the most impact in this area. The main factors studied are the lack of cultural knowledge and strategic militarist interventions by NATO are analyzed. These results show that ethnic violence has certain emotional triggers that can be avoided by appropriate government policies and actions.

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