Settling Ethnic Conflicts

World Affairs Lecture chaired by Rodney Tye

Professor Stefan Wolff

University of Bath

25 October 2005

Professor Wolff is an author on this subject and is highly regarded both within & beyond the University.

He began with an illustrated World map showing major areas of Ethnic conflict (including Northern Ireland). Yet the map did not include North and South America – virtually free.

This particular type of conflict had become far more widespread since WW2. There was little in the way of a common cause.

The public in wealthier countries had sent large sums of money in notable cases, most of it achieving very little.

Professor Wolff then illustrated his subject with a few telling photographs: a grieving Arab mother in distress, along side a grieving Israeli mother; a woman victim of war alongside an armed woman soldier; child soldiers were shown – a major feature in African ethnic conflicts.

Yet on a more optimistic note the speaker explained that going though a long list of such conflicts in the post WW era, quite a number had been settled, sometimes by democratic means.

Could such conflicts be prevented by good intelligence and international study? He pointed to all the diplomatic missions throughout the World – but perhaps there was variable concern about these troubles depending upon where they arose.

Rodney Tye