Public Policy and Ethnic Conflict: Evaluating the Strategy of Multiculturalism


  • Ralph R. Premdas Reader in Politics, Department of Behavioural Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.


The state as a carrier of a dominant cultural core and as an exclusive unit of loyalty is challenged and being redefined in the vortex of a massive globalization process in migration and digitally-driven communications. In the steps of the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, has emerged a "re-tribalised" world as identity groups of all types pop out of every unsuspecting place in a quest for security, status, and resources in virtue of their "cultural difference." Everywhere ethnic identities are re-discovered and re-constructed with new claims catalogued usually against alleged hegemonic and oppressive groups and communities. It is a zero-sum struggle in which the claims of one group, frequently wrapped in righteous cultural symbols, can only be met by a corresponding loss of face as well as relinquishing of space and privileges by another historic community.