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Causes of Conflict

Identity- Refers to the sense of belonging to a group of people or a particular place. Based on special characteristicsof their culture and Ethnicity.

Ethnicity- the idea that we can group people according to their shared cultural identity or racial groups which identifies people according to physical appearance.

Culture- The customary beliefs and practices of a social group.

Resources- The desire to gain and control valuable resources like water, land, oil.

Territory- an area of land controlled by a particular government or authority. Conflict can arise when there is a disagreement over who should own or control a territory.

Ideology- Social, economic and political ideas on how society should be run. E.G Democracy and Communism.

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Scale of Conflict

Local- Conflict in a local area, in a city or urban area. E.G Conflict between students in a town/city near a university. Small riots in one town that dont affect surrounding towns. Planning protests- Liverpool 1 and the Trafford Centre.

Regional- Conflict in a certain region. When a part or a nation (E.G the north west) has a strong identity that may be different to the rest of the nation.

National- Usually a country (E.G The UK) where they have a strong belief of something or want for a resource.

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Expressions of conflict

Non-Violent- Hunger strikes, Facebook, Social networking, Graffiti. Do not involve force or armed struggle. Conflicts may begin like this but then develop into a violent struggle. This form of expression is on the increase due increase in social media and the internet.

Political activity and Debate- When a party campaign to gain control by gaining votes. they do this by debating their ideology.

Terrorism- Methods used to try and force governments into action to support a political or ideological idea, by striking fear into the unprepared public.

Insurrection- Invloves more people than terrorism - not organised fighting, revolts against an authority. Insurgents may be in combat with government forces. Civil war in Libya is a good example.

War- An open declaration of conflict between nations, usually between armed forces of countries invloved.

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Arab Spring: What Where When

Arab Springs:

What: A conflict that grew from a local to an international conflict using differnt types of expression from none violent to violent.

Where: Mainly in the northern arab states of Africa. Thought to originate from a disagreement in tunisia when Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire when he became unhappy with how the police were treating him. This triggered riots and disagreements first in Tunisia that then spread to Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Iran and Bahrain.

These main rebellions were thought to be a result of dictaorship (divide and rule), human rights violations, poltical corruption, a huge gap in income levels, economic decline, unemployment and extreme poverty.

When: This conflict lasted from 17th December 2010 to 17th December 2011 however still unrest in many countries.

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International Conflict: Darfur Causes

Identity, Ethnicity and Culture:

  • Tensions between ethnic arab and Black groups... strongly linked to....

Resources and territory:

  • Competion for land and water supplies between namadic Arab herders who maved around and the traditional stationary Black famers.
  • rapid population growth led to overcropping, desertification, overgrazing. More people to feed and less fertile land long standing tensions increased into violence.


  • Black population feels neglectated by the arab controlled government, Struggle for power as Arab government want to maintain dominance whilst Africans are looking for better treatment.
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Darfur: the conflict

1980's: Series of droughts in Darfur worsened inter tribal relations, African farmers started to stop allowing access for arabic herders on their farm land.

1989: Omar al-Bashir an Arab came into power and worked with the Arab miltants to remove the non-Arab nuba people from mountainous regions of Darfur.

February 2003: Darfur rebels along with black african rebels who formed the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) attacked government troops demanding that the neglect on black africans stops. Instead of dealing with the problem the Sudanese government armed Arab militants, the janjaweed, and fought against the SLA.

From the summer of 2003 the Janjaweed carried out its "Scorched earth" policy  and is thought to be an attempt of ethnic cleansing in southern sudan.

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Darfur Social impacts

  • 400,000 Darfurian civilian deaths mostly murdered by the Janjaweed
  • 2.8 million people have been displaced within sudan
  • 250,000 have fled abroard mainly to chad where they face further violence in refugee camps as different tribes fight for scarce resources
  • 90% of the villiages of Darfurs targeted ethnic groups have been destroyed
  • Dead bodies thrown in wells to contaminate  villages water supply
  • Locals forced out of villages become trapped in refugee camps
  • Shortages of food, water, firewood and medical supplies orsened by drought has increased disease in refugee camps and cases of maknutrition, malnurishment and infant mortality are high
  • Emotionally damaged as people remain in refugee camps years later- feeling of no control over their own life
  • Lack of internation aid due to violence and non co-operation from sudanese government
  • Women face getting ***** if they leave to get firewood, Men go with their wives they face muder and none go the family starve
  • Rape affects an etire community for decades. "destroying the future". Children who witness the crime are traumatized, men flee from shame, women become damaged goods and outcasts of society
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Darfur Economic impacts

  • Economy in the region has ceased to function as scorched earth policy has destryed everything
  • Black people are forced into IDP camps and are reliant on international aid as people can no longer farm
  • Services and markets are almost all in government controlled areas so are to risky to visit to buy and sell
  • Loss of jobs as the Fur people are no longer able to work for the Libyan oil industry as the border has been closed leading to lack of jobs for the darfur people
  • In IDP camps lack of feed and water led to 75% of local donkeys dying, donkeys are seen as peoples greatest economic asset used for transport, water and fuel
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Darfur Environmental impacts

Enviromental deterioration and DEFORESTATION has been a cause and symptom of the conflict.

  • Desertification caused by population growth, climate change and poorly controled tree felling by the government due to the break down of law and order (link back to how war caused the problem).
  • People making bricks in the IDP camps for money use around 52,000 trees a year which is a threat top the ecological balance.
  • Increased demand in water has lowered the water table making it even harder for trees to grow.
  • 3 million people forced into IDP camps making shelter out of already scarce timber on the borders of Sudan/Chad
  • Janjaweed and others have made profit by selling hard wood like mahogany which has accelerated deforestation.
  • Grazing lands have been burnt by the SLA resulting more overgrazing and increasing deforestation
  • Farms and villages have been burned by janjaweed as part of their "scorched earth" policy, which was on pupose to pollute the water table and cause severe soil erosion
  • Darfur mainly hard rock so when rain does come in June to september it runs off, underground reserves are the only reliable water source accessed by wells
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Darfur Resolving the conflict (organisations)

the Darfur crisis has been difficult to resolve, over 5 million people are thought to have been affected to date.

Different approaches have been taken by various organisations:

  • Charities (None Governmental Organisations)- Oxfam opertated during the war to provide food and water and mdical help, some aid workers were killed, 12 African Union Workers were murdered in 12 incident, main problem has been access to areas in most need, Sudanese government has been demanding visas.
  • African Union (AU)- sent peace keeping troops to the area and organised peace talks, helped to bring about the signing of the peace treaty in 2006.
  • United nations (International)- Froze assets (cant make money to fund their cause) and imposed travel bans on milita groups, to little to late.
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Darfur Resolving the conflict (today)

  • Peace treaty in 2006- Annual deaths has declined but violence remains.
  • The government in Khartoum has until last year been fighting a war in the south of sudan over oil revenues.
  • Small scale- region now suffers more from low level disputes and banditry.
  • Government continues to deny supporting the Janjaweed who are still active in Darfur.
  • 2010- The International Criminal Court arrested President Omar al- Bashir accussed of war crimes- further hinder chances of lasting peace agreement.
  • Government deliberatly manipulated and provoked tensons between rebel groups- peace harder to achieve.
  • Joint peace keeping force- The united Nations African Inion (UNAMID) in Darfur- to reduce injury use of puppets to raise awarness of unexploded in unexploded bombs for children.- Local, non violent aimed at children.

Lasting peace in Darfur is unlikely unless pressure on resources such as fertile land and water resolved, main cause of conflict to begin with.

Sudan is one of the most fertile areas in Africa but 50 years of war has starved investment in technology.

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Multicultural societies

Multicultural society:

  • A society that contains etnic groups witha variety of backgrounds of shared ancesrty.
  • Product of migration and prejudice may be an issue which can lead to tensions and conflict.
  • Ethnic segregation can occur where particular groups are clustered often in inner city areas.

Since 2001 white british people has dropped from 91.3% to 86% in 2011. Most ethnically diverse place is London. 2001- number of mixed ethnicity has doubled to 1.2 million in 2011.

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Development of multicultural society

The UK is considered to be a multiculteral society- brought mant different ethnicitys to the UK.

Post war migration:

  • Caribbean- 1948-1970, half a million to London, Slough, Nottingham, Luton, and moved putwards to other areas. Mainly from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados.
  • Indian Subcontinent- 1950's/60's for work from pakistand and western India. Proffesional doctors and unskilled workers to Birmingham for Iron works and sheffeild for steel works.
  • Asian and East Africa- 1972 because of ethnic cleansing from dictator gave 90 days to leave as he had a dream from god to eliminate asians- 80,000 asians. Britain accepted 28,000 and settled in wembly and leicester, had british passports as once owned as slaves as part of the british colony.
  • Europe- After the war 14,000 hungarians left after political uprising. 50,000 Italians in 50's and 60's for jobs.
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Distribution of ethnic groups

Clustering around major cities is a reflection of peoples economic oppertunities when they arrive in the UK:

Black Caribean: Greater London, Slough, Luton, West Midlands, Nottingham.

Asian: Greater London, West midlands, East Midlands, Slough, Luton, West Yorkshire, Lancashire.

Large cities like London and Birmingham attract large numbers of new migrants as they provide lower paid service sector jobs such as the NHS, catering and London transport.

Recent years has seen awider range of migrants settling in  new locations as a result of INCREASING WORLD CONFLICT.- Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia etc.

Nearly half of the non white population live in London:

  • 78% of the UK's Black African population
  • 61% of the UK's Black Caribbean population
  • 54% of the UK's Bangladeshi population
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Issues related to multicultural societies

issues -40 marker

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The nature of separatism.

  • Refers to the desire and struggle by a number of peoplein a region (not necessarily a counrty) to gain more control from central government.
  • Some people may want full independence, others may want more control without becoming seperate- AUTONOMY
  • Places seaking seperatism are often in a peripheral location and are of a different culture/ethnicity.
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Reasons for separatism

  • Economically depressed region compared to higher standards of living in the rest of the country- Galicia in Spain
  • Discrimination due to cultural identity:

-Minority religous groups- Tamils in Sri Lanka

-Ethnic differences- Kurds in Turkey, Iraq and Syria

  • Central Government plundering local resources- Scotland and South Sudan for oil reserves
  • Collapse of a central state that held regions together- USSR and former Yugoslavia, war now broke up into smaller countries- ethnic minorities
  • Support from EU- Structural funds available to gove financial support suffering economic and social problems- South wales some locals feel that they can now "Go it alone" with help from EU. 
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Consequences of separatism

Can be expressed is similar ways to other conflicts- Peaceful campaigns to extremest groups who resort to violence. can start as peacful and grow to violent.

Positive consequences:

  • Traditional languages and cultures prevented from being lost
  • Regional diversity seen as positive- attracts tourists, boosts local economy
  • Languages can be maintained in schools e.g welsh and Catalan

Political expressions- Devolution or independence

Struggles sometimes succeed and certain powers are handed over for example the scotish parliment being created in 1998, this is called Devolution.

Viloence including Terrorism and civil war

  • Riots- Montreal in Quebec in 2011
  • Terrorism- ETA in the Basque region
  • Civil war- Sri Lanka: Tamil Tigers
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Separatism case study- Scotland

  • Scotish independence party is compaigning for scottish independence- the biggest scottish political party.
  • They have a big oil supply that they are not benefitting from as central government are benefittng from profits- worth 1.5 trillion
  • Scottish political party objects to having nuclear weapons

On the 18th september 2014 a referendum will be held if the out come is yes:

  • Independence will be in march 2016
  • Agreements would have to be made with the UK
  • Investment will go towards renewable energy instead of nuclear power
  • Share debt with the UK
  • Uk may force scotland to create its own currency

If no:

  • Will be the end of SNP
  • Focus will shift the how much power the scottish parliment can have and what other powers they should gain.
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Separatism case study- The Basque Region

The basque region on the border of spain and france and want to be separate for 3 reasons:

  • Cultural differences- their own euskara language and a distnct religion different from spanish or france culutres.
  • Persicution experienced from various central governments on spain over the years especially Francisco Franco who banned the language, supressed the basque culture and imprission activists for their political beliefs.
  • Wealthy area can sustain them selves- Bilbao is a large industrial city with port, St Sebastian is a wealthy banking city and the Pyrenees for the wealthy tourism industry.


  • Violent- formation of the ETA, Basque nationlst terrorist group who carried out car bombings on police barracks, Killing police officers, Bombs on tourist spots, Abduction oof Miguel Angel Blanco holding him ranson the was later murdered.
  • Non violent- peace protests by locals, Rallies, 

concllusions- effected the whole of spain not just the basque region, divided opinion on different scales, ETA annonced cease fire due to falling support.

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Separatism case study- Sri Lanka (Tamil tigers)

  • When Sri Lanka was given back to the Sinhalese in 1948 by the british the Tamils went throughg persicution by the government as trading Tamil goods was band and they were exluded from Sinhalese education as they did not speak the language.
  • The Tamil tigers was born to fight for seperation for northern Sri Lanka in 1975.
  • This caused a Civil war lasting 26 years between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.
  • Tamils were declared defeated in 2009


Economic- Plantation workers lost jobs, took part in vandalism as there was no jobs, Loss of investment from other countries, Tourist numbers declined leading to more job losses. Economoic cost 200 billion dollars

Political- The governemnt lost power, India took over to make major decisions.

Social- 65,000 still remain refugees in India, safe zones still attacked the people didnt feel safe.

Environmental- 2000 sqkm contaminated with 1.6 million landmines with 8 foreign agencies and sri lankan army employed deminers and are still working today.

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Absolute poverty:

  • measured by the figure currently used by the World Bank of $US1.25 per day. 
  • Sometimes called the International Poverty Line and people with this income are denied basic essentials.
  • Defined by the UN as a "Condition characterised by svere deprivation of basic human needs."
  • Lack of food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and access to benefits.

Relative Poverty:

  • Half mean income, exclusion from participation in society.

Measuring poverty:

  • Compare GDP per capita in US Dollars- crude method
  • Physical Quality of life index (PQLI) considers literacy rate, infant mortality, life expectance at 1 year old- more accurate at analysing how effectively income is spent
  • Human development index (HDI)- Life expectancy, Education attainment, Real GDP per capita- what $1 would buy.
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The global distribution of poverty

Absolute poverty is very uneven across the world:

  • Highest- Sub Saharan Africa. 20 lowest income countries are in this region except afghanistan. The sahel region has high concentrations, 40% of sudan and Ethiopia living below the poverty line.
  • Improved- Central and south America, Mexico and argentina have less than 5% of people below the poverty line however most countries in this region still sufer from major poverty.
  • Impressive Progress- low and medium income Asian countries- South east Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia and more recently China however poverty still exists.
  • Still struggles- Indian sub continent still has 30% of people below the poverty line.
  • Increased- Stands out only anomoly middle east has increased poverty levels in the last decade due to conflict and war in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Relative poverty is more difficult to asses and place on a map but is an issue in most countries and looks to increase in higher income countries due to governenment spending cuts for example the USA and European countries like the UK.

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Causes of poverty

Natural factors-

  • Drought, Floods lead to ruined harvest, starving people and livestock.
  • Unpredictable rains- kills vegetation, dries the soil, icreases soil erosion and rate of desertification in places like Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel.
  • Natural distasters leave millions homeless and without food. In Hati 1 million stay homeless and unemployment remains high due to damaged economy. Also leaves services drastically depleated.

Human factors-

  • Existing poverty means weak resiliance after natural disters and events increasing poverty.

Increase in desertification high link to increase rate of absolute poverty in Sub Saharan Africa:

  • High natural increase puts strains on resources. In Ethiopia 85% of people live in the countryside with drastically depleating plots of land. Rural ethiopia experiences overcropping and over grazing which is accelerating desertification. Global air pollution by higher income countries is associated with climate change speeding up desertification

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Causes of Poverty

Unfair trading terms by the World Trade Organization means it hard to trade and get good prices for products with an international demand. Ethiopia rely on trade of coffee which is now going for a lower price means extreamly low incomes.

Higher price in local markets means locals cant afford higher poverty levels however the country is getting less tax revenue to deal with the problem.

Structural Adjustment Programs imposed on low income countries that have taken out loans from the International Monetary Fund  means education and welfare budgets are cut and services are privatised to repay these loans leading to higher rates of poverty. In the Philippines almost 50% of the government spending goes on debt repayment compared to 3% on healthcare.

War in the sahel region results in tensions of tribes in the Darfur region fuelled by increased poverty has resulted in increased poverty. The resulting civil war has created the most extreme poverty conditions in IDP camps for tens of thousands of people.

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Addressing poverty- United Nations

In 2000 the United Nations came up with 8 millenium goals to tackel and achieve by 2015.


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Examples of NGO Schemes


Yemen: Food for Girls' Education Programme. More than 60% of primary school aged children that are not in school are girls. Families who send thier girls to school are eligible to receive and annual ration of wheat and vegetable oil. The programme as benefited 200,000 girls, nearly 1 million family members.


Bangladesh: Over the past two decades UNICEF supported by local effors have trained community healthcare workers leading to a sharp decline in infant mortality. Declined from 100 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 33 per 1000 in 2012 and under 5 mortality dropped by 72%.


Zambia: Free HIV treatments from the Ministry of Health and UNDP has reached 400,00 people with 68 new antitetrovial thearapy sites being created. Global funds have funded ART drugs to 214,339 patiens in 2012.

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