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Conversations featuring Prof. Yael Zeira

Virtual event via Zoom

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Prof. Zeira will discuss her project 'The Ethnicization of Civil Conflict'  based on research she has conducted with Alexandra Siegel, University of Colorado-Boulder.  Ethnic conflicts are often seen as especially violent and intractable. But how and why do some conflicts become ``ethnic"? While scholars of ethnic politics often point to the ``ethnicization" of conflict,  systematic empirical evidence demonstrating this process of ethnicization, and explaining when and why it occurs, remains rare. This project fills this gap through a large-scale, systematic study of the sources and dynamics of ethnicization and de-ethnicization in the case of the ongoing conflict in Syria, as well as in broader comparative perspective including Yemen, Iraq, and Ukraine. Employing a new conceptual and methodological framework for studying identity change, we systematically trace the prevalence of ethnic, non-ethnic and counter-ethnic rhetoric within a given conflict over both time and space by applying machine learning methods to social media data. Because ethnic rhetoric both reflects and shapes the strength of ethnic identities, our approach also provides the first, truly dynamic, time-sensitive measure of the shifting salience of ethnic identities during conflict.

Sponsored by PARCC

For more information, please contact Roxanne Tupper at or at 315-443-2367.  

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