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Socially Relevant Ethnic Groups, Ethnic Structure, and AMAR

Socially Relevant Ethnic Groups, Ethnic Structure, and AMAR


Protracted conflicts over the status and demands of ethnic and religious groups have caused more instability and loss of human life than any other type of local, regional, and international conflict since the end of World War II. Yet we still have accumulated little in the way of accepted knowledge about the ethnic landscape of the world. In part this is due to empirical reliance on the limited data in the Minorities at Risk (MAR) project, whose selection biases are well known. In this article we tackle the construction of a list of ‘socially relevant’ ethnic groups meeting newly justified criteria in a dataset we call AMAR (A for All). We find that one of the principal difficulties in constructing the list is determining the appropriate level of aggregation for groups. To address this issue, we enumerate subgroups of the commonly recognized groups meeting our criteria so that scholars can use the subgroup list as one reference in the construction of the list of ethnic groups most appropriate for their study. Our conclusion outlines future work on the data using this expanded dataset on ethnic groups.

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Birnir, Jóhanna K. and Dawn Brancati, James D. Fearon, Ted Robert Gurr, Agatha S. Hultquist, David D. Laitin, Amy Pate, Stephen M. Saideman, Jonathan Wilkenfeld. "Socially relevant ethnic groups, ethnic structure, and AMAR." Journal of Peace Research (August 2014). http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/08/19/0022343314536915.abstract

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