Possibilities of Spatial Approach in Analysis of Ethnopolitical Conflicts

Possibilities of Spatial Approach in Analysis of Ethnopolitical Conflicts

Prokhorenko I.L.,

Dr. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Leading Researcher, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), irinapr@imemo.ru

elibrary_id: 203298 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2016.06.09

For citation:

Prokhorenko I.L. Possibilities of Spatial Approach in Analysis of Ethnopolitical Conflicts. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No. 6. P. 127-138. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2016.06.09


The article analyzes the possibilities of use of spatial approach in applied and conceptual analysis of ethnopolitical conflicts. The ‘spatial’ turn in social sciences de facto hasn’t yet affected this area of research. But it’s obvious that the spatial approach in consideration of its unrealized cognitive potential may be helpful in study of this type of conflicts in multiethnic societies. While constructing multi-dimentional model of political space in studying diversified phenomena of political life and multi-level political process, the researcher can separate ethnic borders, distinctions and distances between individuals and between communities, and thereby reveal and fix an ethnic component of political conflicts, observe and forecast its dynamics. The use of the category of “political identity” and the identification of identity spaces in spatial analysis of ethnopolitical conflicts allow to analyze dynamics of (ethno)territorial communities construction, to study phenomena and process of the politicization of ethnicity and ethnic cleavages, the public policy of formation of competitive and contentious identities in plural societies for assessing the peculiarity of conflict dynamics and degree of its localization, validity of conflicting parties claims over disputable issues and their readiness to compromise. Detecting the degree of leadership and influence of various political actors in the political spaces of different levels in analysis of ethnopolitical conflicts gives a chance of defining and typologizing conflicting parties and participants, estimating degree of the conflict asymmetry and studying the activity of its external participants and their role in conflict dynamics, transformation and management. Using the category of political space the spatial analysis at micro- and macro-level and in diverse measurements – subnational, national, transnational and global, the researcher can detect, explore and appraise degree of influence of external participants of the conflict, which aren’t the conflicting parties and whose activities sometimes are kept silent about or intentionally hided.

spatial approach; political space; (inter)ethnic conflict; conflict management; civic nationalism; ethnic identity; territorial identity; nationalism; ethnic nationalism; separatism; identity politics.

Content No. 6, 2016

See also:

Prokhorenko I.L.,
Ethnopolitical Conflict and Politics of Identity in Latin America. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No4

Semenenko I.S.,
Nationalism, Separatism, and Democracy. New Patterns of National Identity in “Old” Europe. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No5

Semenenko I.S.,
Dilemmas of national identity: political risks and social inputs. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No6

Smorgunov L.V.,
Political identity and the concept of the political. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No6

Tkhagapsoyev Kh.G.,
In search of a new methodological paradigm in political science: the identity approach. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No4



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