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CIAO DATE: 07/02

Democracy, Human rights and Ethnica Conflicts in the Process of Globalisation

Zlatko Isakovic

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute
June 2001


The aim of this paper is to elaborate relationships between democracy, human rights and ethnic conflicts in the globalised world. The first part is devoted to analysis of the impacts of democracy and human rights on the ethnic conflicts, and second elaborates impacts of the conflicts on the democracy and human rights. Both parts are supposed to elaborate the topic within the context of globalised world. The main conclusion is that if a system cannot be qualified as democratic one and respectful for human rights, appears the complex dilemma what should and would come first: developing democracy and/or respecting human rights or eliminating ethnic conflicts or preventing their escalations/deescalating them.

Observing states and societies, one can distinguish several criteria for their classification within the globalised world. From the perspective of the topic of this paper the most important their feature seems to be that numerous states and societies have and take part in more or less similar and sometimes mutual ethnic conflicts. As the conflicts and the states have at least to some degree general features, they can be observed as parts of the process of globalisation. Second, a great majority of these states and societies is in certain stages of the post-Cold War transformation process, which also has at least partly global nature.

The classic theory of democracy has elaborated the issue of the ethnicity cursory manner and mostly periodically. Since the end of the Cold War the interest of numerous scholars has been focused on the security aspects of the ethnic conflicts (ethnic aspects of security in the world), and on political aspects of the development of democracy or transition toward democracy (i.e. its general pattern).