Pax Ethnica: Where and How Diversity Succeeds

Pax Ethnica: Where and How Diversity Succeeds

Karl E. Meyer, Shareen Blair Brysac

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 1586488295

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In a world replete with stories of sectarian violence, we are often left wondering: Are there places where people of different ethnicities, especially with significant Muslim minorities, live in peace? If so, why haven’t we heard more about them, and what explains their success?

To answer these questions, Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac undertook a two-year exploration of oases of civility, places notable for minimal violence, rising life-expectancy, high literacy, and pragmatic compromises on cultural rights. They explored the Indian state of Kerala, the Russian republic of Tatarstan, the city of Marseille in France, the city of Flensburg, Germany, and the borough of Queens, New York. Through scores of interviews, they document ways and means that have proven successful in defusing ethnic tensions. This pathbreaking book elegantly blends political history, sociology, anthropology, and journalism, to provide big ideas for peace.

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Australian Labor Party today?” The invidious implication, in Levey’s view, was that if you’re an immigrant, you cannot be truly Australian. (Abbott later apologized for his wording.) A related issue in Sydney concerned the pretexts for opposing mosques and synagogues. Concerning mosques,It’s typically framed in two ways. There is the noise of the mullahs calling the congregation to prayer—and that’s not the Christian way. But mind you, I’ve lived in Oxford for years, where you always have the

quotations in James McKinley Jr., “Assault Charges Send Pickets to Queens Grocery” in The New York Times (February 10, 1991) and in Joseph Fried, “Brooklyn Clash Spurred Queens to End Boycott,” also in the Times (February 12, 1991). The ambiguities in the trial of Mazoltuv Borukhova, charged with killing her Bohkaran husband, are clinically examined in Janet Malcolm’s Iphigenia in Forest Hills (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011). The quotations from Alexis de Tocqueville are from Democracy

discussed by Tatarstan university rectors. But should any importance be given to Shaimiev’s biography? In formerly orthodox Marxist-Leninist historiography, class origins were the controlling matrix, while postmodernist scholars insist that history is mostly an agreed-upon fiction, and psychohistorians seek a master clue in oedipal conflicts. How interesting, therefore, that the academic journal Ab Imperio, published in Kazan, revisited the musty “Biographic Turn” and argued in a 2009 editorial

interwoven with France’s unresolved entanglement with Algeria, a history that even now is generally little known. FOUR TIMES THE size of Metropolitan France, Algeria before 1830 was nominally a province of the Ottoman Empire, though its true governor was the Dey of Algiers, a prince whose power derived from managing pirates and slavers. In 1827, the incumbent Dey Hussein lost his temper while arguing about grain prices with the French consul, whom he swatted with a fly whisk, deriding him as a

Bukharans cling to their identity as if to a lifeline; they are not promising candidates for rapid assimilation. To learn more, we initially sought meetings with community leaders, but we were frustrated by linguistic and telephonic barriers. We decided, finally, to strike out on our own, beginning at the Rego Park subway station at Queens Boulevard and 63rd Drive. The station arcade encloses a dance studio (conducted by Malika Kalontorava, formerly a leading dancer in Tajikistan), a shoe repair

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