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Title: Citizenship for peace: Identity and conflicts in multiethnic Malaysia
Other Titles: Journal of POLITICAL STUDIES, Vol. 13, March-October 2017, pp 36-50
Authors: Khalid Ansari
Keywords: citizenship
Identity conflict
Multicultural citizenship
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Modern states are known as nation-states but most of the post-colonial states are made of multinational and multi-ethnic groups. It is said that the Third World States are still under the process of nation-making. Conflicts in the multi-ethnic states are often articulated on the lines of identity and culture. Identity based conflicts require proper understanding of the root causes of conflict. Basic Human Needs theory argues that there are some non-negotiable basic human needs which are distinct from the subsistence needs. Unless needs such as recognition, security, participation and redistribution are considered in the resolution process, a sustainable peace would not be achieved. On the contrary, it is bound to repeat over the time period. Citizenship is an important concept as it defines who is in and who is outside the polity. Generally, it links to the dominant majority culture of the state, consequently it excludes minority ethnic and cultural groups from the exclusive idea of the nation-state. Hence the study argues that there is a direct relationship between the notion of citizenship and identity conflicts. Liberal notion of citizenship confers on an individual a status of equal membership to the polity but it was seen that states in practice are often not able to maintain their neutral position. Thus the paper argues that articulation of demands and grievances of the different ethnic groups in a multicultural state can be addressed through a flexible liberal notion of multicultural inclusive citizenship. A case study of Malaysia is used for empirical support of the study.
ISSN: 0976-3570
Appears in Collections:Vol. 13, (March-October 2017)

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