Identités et politique
De la différenciation culturelle au conflit
Identity and Politics
From cultural differences to conflict
The number of conflicts emerging as a result of identity-based claims — autonomy, independence and cultural rights, among others — have continually increased since 1945, sometimes going so far as to threaten the very existence of certain States. Far from having disappeared within democratic regimes, such conflicts are particularly important in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, even despite processes of state-building and profoundly different relations with regard to minorities.
In these three countries, ethnic and religious identity is a basic principle used to routinely categorise individuals and provide group hierarchies. However, although these differences may engender hierarchies and rivalry, they do not necessarily lead to conflict. How, therefore, do communities move from 'cultural friction' to open, identity-based conflict?
By establishing territorial breakdowns, thoroughly mapping, identifying and classifying populations, imposing educational standards and unequally distributing resources, States produce the very conditions that are conducive to identity-based mobilisations. The tipping over into violence thus depends on the State policies — of discrimination, openness or repression — that structure relations between groups.