chapter  8
19 Pages

The Potential for Communal Conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean

ByMario Apostolov

The last two chapters of this book deal with the sources of confessional conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean in the age of nation states and with the ways in which solutions can be sought. I regard the problem as structural, rooted in the institutional system. I examine the sources and mechanisms of communal mobilisation in order to see how the problem relates to the nation state logic. The last chapter asks whether the nation state can serve as a basis for solving religious minority conflicts; what are the pitfalls of international peace-making; and whether consociational accommodation is still possible in plural societies. Is the nation state and inclusive nationalism the solution to the problem of religious minorities? Or is the division of the world into nation states the reason for the problem? Communal conflicts point to the limits of the nation state logic. Conflicts overflow borders, communal identities are often “outward looking”, creating cross-border loyalties, which transcend the nation state organisation of the world. Religious minorities, however, possess a too limited political leverage to influence the political organisation of the world of nation states.