The Status of Ethnicity and Ethnic Nationalism in National Security Studies

Document Type : Research Paper



Researcher in the Research Institute of Strategic Studies
This article aims to explore the place of ethnicity and ethnocentrism as a security variable in the national security studies in multi-ethnic societies. In this respect, the study of the approach adopted by the modernization theorists and the Marxist theoreticians during the Cold War demonstrated that they lacked a realist conception of the political and security importance of ethnic nationalism and the considerations related to ethnic diversity. With the intensification of ethnic conflicts in the last decade of the Cold War particularly following the collapse of the East Bloc and the extensive security impact of such domestic and regional conflicts, the status of ethnic nationalism has gained further prominence in national security studies and, as a factor explaining the national security issues of the Third World Countries was included among the major crises like political legitimacy and the capacity of policy-making. Finally, the study of the views expressed by the national security theorists in the Third World countries demonstrated that ethnic nationalism could be one of the most important sources of political and social threats posed to weak states.


Main Subjects