chapter  IV
9 Pages

Causes of Increasing or Decreasing Confl icts

There are many possible kinds of political identity that bind groups of people together into communities able to act together in order to defend and further their interests, but many of these are not activated, and even the most important ones come into play only from time to time. We have seen that many potential ethnic and regional identities never turn into meaningful political ones. Others may have been important in the past but no longer are. e same is true for religions. While people do not simply shed their religions, their beliefs do not necessarily become politically relevant. e same even holds true for nationalism. While strong nationalism can produce intense emotions and even a willingness to die for one’s nation, that is hardly on most people’s minds except during unusual times. Usually nationalist feelings remain in the background. In other words, all of these potential sources of community solidarity and action are contingent. Only certain kinds of situations turn them into powerful political forces.