Economics, Politics, and Ethnicity in Balochistan's Transport Industry

Paul Titus

Abstract


Because of its potential to disrupt economic development, it
is necessary to understand the dynamics of ethnic conflict in the
contemporary world. A prevalent trend in the study of ethnicity is to
focus on the creation and/or maintenance of ethnic identities and
mobilisation on the basis of those identities as groups compete for
resources, opportunities, or political power in the context of the
nation-state [Barth (1969); Brass (1985); Comaroff (1987); Mumtaz
(1990)]. In this approach, an ethnic group's distinguishing
markers-language, custom, dress, etc.-are treated less as manifestations
of tradition which define or create the group and more as arenas of
negotiation and contestation in which people strive to realise their
practical and symbolic interests. This happens as individuals or
families, pursuing their livelihoods with the skills and resources
available to them, find (or create) opportunities or obstacles which
appear to be based on' ethnic criteria. The state can intensify this
process as it uses positive or negative discrimination in order to
achieve some desired distribution of wealth and opportunity. In turn,
political leadership becomes a key in realising the experience of shared
ethnic interests. Leadership develops as a kind of dual legitimation
process, i.e., as individuals or organisations seek to be accepted as
spokesmen both by members of the group itself and by
outsiders.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v34i4IIpp.619-626

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