Is Diversity An Obstacle To State Construction? (II), By M.J. Balogun

The argument thus far is not that diversity is of no consequence in conflict situations. However, its relevance lies in the capability of one type of diversity being manipulated to mask engrained prejudices, meaning a latent, probably cloudy, motive. Sooner or later, the mask will come off as the cynic begins to seek a relief that is totally unrelated to the proclaimed grievance.

In a nutshell, diversity may, at one point, be no more than an ‘opportunistic’ factor, and at another, a direct, causative agent. As argued in this article, whether diversity will strengthen or undermine a supra-ethnic (or ‘national’) identity depends on the different parties’ comparative assessment of the ‘costs’ versus the ‘benefits’ of various categories of identities or citizenship, that is the ‘identity value of citizenship’. Where the situations are properly handled, diversity will be perceived as an edifying factor in…


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