In This Review

Anticipating Ethnic Conflict
Anticipating Ethnic Conflict
By Ashley J. Tellis, Thomas S. Szayna, and James A. Winnefeld
RAND, 1997, 118 pp

Unlike other recent studies of ethnic strife, this volume is narrowly focused as "a handbook for intelligence analysts to use in thinking about ethnic conflict." Rather than recounting a familiar set of case studies, it provides a matrix of factors that might serve as precursors to ethnic violence, such as the degree of "closure" in the political system, triggering events, state capabilities, etc. While the approach may seem overly mechanistic, the authors provide adequate warning against simplistic misuse of their methodology and put the issue of ethnic conflict in a sophisticated framework of sociopolitical modernization.