Increasingly, ethnic and religious variables are taken into account to explain conflict and relations between nations. However, ethnic and religious groups exist beyond the confines of frontiers. In Africa, for example, hundreds of ethnic groups were divided by colonial borders, and many retained kinship connections to their brethren in other countries, thus creating “cross-border ethnic/religious affinity.” Such cross-border connections affect a variety of foreign policy, from diplomacy to the use of force. An internal problem can spread to other states, or external actors can become involved in domestic disputes due to such factors. Therefore data on cross-border connections are essential to measure and assess their actual or potential effects on foreign policy or conflict.
This unique resource serves both qualitative and quantitative researchers. For ease of use, it is divided in sections for each region of world, with the entries organized by pairs of contiguous countries. Each entry for a pair of countries briefly discusses the ethnic and religious groups that are common to both countries and the historical and current connections between these groups. The entries are organized based on the Correlates of War country codes, which are widely used by researchers and allow for country pairs to be organized geographically within each section to facilitate easy use of the data.
Section 1. The Americas
Section 2. Europe
Section 3. Africa
Section 4. Middle East
Section 5. Asia
Although ethnicity is often considered purely at the domestic level, many ethnic groups have segments or close links to groups in other countries. Butcher provides a very useful summary of cross-border links. This volume will be an invaluable reference to all scholars interested in transnational ethnic networks and relations.
Kinship ties across borders have played a key role in mobilization for civil war. Yet, until now we have lacked systematic data on a broad set of groups that cross borders. Moreover, analysis of such relationships often suffers from an over aggregation of “groups” based on analyst perceptions. This book offers an important corrective, providing nuanced data on transborder groups around the world. Professor Butcher has carefully documented the distribution of ethnic and religious groups across borders of contiguous countries.
Charity Butcher is an Associate Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Kennesaw State University.