chapter  16
Transnational Ethnic Groups
WithPhillip Taylor
Pages 14

Of all nonstate actors, none have gained more notoriety in recent years than transnational ethnic groups. Unfortunately, this has occurred because of the tactics employed by these groups; their salience cannot be attributed to worldwide concern over the plight of the individuals who constitute these international actors. These groups are often referred to as terrorist organizations, "national-liberation-freedom-fighters," and the like. For the purposes of this chapter, the use of the term "transnational ethnic groups" is an attempt to avoid ideological predispositions toward characterization of any group or movement as good or right versus bad or wrong. As the term implies, these groups are nations of people (ethnically defined) who live in two or more nation-states (none of which they control). In addition, they exhibit at least one political organization and typically employ violent means in their efforts to attain goals ranging from local autonomy to the creation of a new nation-state. Finally, these groups as organizations are important world actors both as primary causes of political violence and international tension and as conduits of the policies of nation-states.