The Deadly Ethnic Riot / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.55
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 78%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $7.55   
  • New (4) from $30.04   
  • Used (5) from $7.55   


Donald L. Horowitz's consideration of the structure and dynamics of ethnic violence is the first full-scale, comparative study of the deadly ethnic riot -- an intense, sudden, lethal attack by civilian members of one ethnic group on civilian members of another ethnic group. Serious, frequent, and destabilizing, these events result in large numbers of casualties. Horowitz examines approximately 150 such riots in about fifty countries, mainly in Asia, Africa, and the former Soviet Union, as well as fifty control cases. With its deep scholarship and incisive analysis, The Deadly Ethnic Riot will become the definitive work on its subject.

Furious and sadistic, the riot is nevertheless directed against a precisely specified class of targets and conducted with considerable circumspection. Horowitz scrutinizes target choices, participants and organization, the timing of and supporting conditions for the violence, the events that precede the riot, the prevalence of atrocities, the location and diffusion of riots, and the aims and effects of riot behavior. He finds that the deadly ethnic riot is a highly patterned but emotional event that tends to occur during times of political uncertainty. He also probes the significance of rumors in triggering riots, the surprisingly limited role of deliberate organization, and the striking lack of remorse exhibited by participants.

Horowitz writes clearly and eloquently without compromising the complexity of his subject. With impressive analytical skill, he takes up the important challenge of explaining phenomena that are at once passionate and calculative.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

This magisterial yet stimulating study is marked by the comprehensiveness of its empirical data, the author's keen analytic sensibility, and his gift for the telling phrase. The Deadly Ethnic Riot is that rare combination of theoretical analysis and practical advice. It not only signals a breakthrough in our understanding of the morphology and dynamics of ethnic riots but offers eminently useful strategies for containing these deadly events.
Washington Post Book World
Horowitz's book is comprehensive, illuminating, unprecedented in scope and absolutely fascinating. It may be just the thing for realists--yes, you know them as pessimists--who are looking for some chilly truths about the sphinx that has haunted the century past and may yet haunt the century to come.
Stephen M. Saideman
Makes an important contribution to our understanding of ethnic conflict [and] will be a source of testable hypotheses for years to come.
American Political Science Review
Washington Post Book World
Horowitz's book is comprehensive, illuminating, unprecedented in scope and absolutely fascinating. It may be just the thing for realists—yes, you know them as pessimists—who are looking for some chilly truths about the sphinx that has haunted the century past and may yet haunt the century to come.
Library Journal
Horowitz (law and political science, Duke Univ.; Ethnic Groups in Conflict) defines his subject as "an intense, sudden.... lethal attack by civilian members of one ethnic group on civilian members of another." The riot is both deliberately planned and consistently patterned, an important finding based on exhaustive sources, cross-national comparisons, and segmented analyses. The progression moves from a state of underlying "antipathy" of one group toward another, through the perception of collective threat, to a culmination in murderous violence. The timing and scope of the riot depend on the attackers' sense of "uncertainty, impunity, and justification." Thus, riots are more likely when the relative power of the aggressors and their target is in flux, rumor is rife, authorities inadvertently or deliberately offer rioters a "green light," and killing restores "justice." The groups and circumstances studied vary from episodic U.S. lynching to endemic sectarian conflict in South Asia. This definitive work is recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.--Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520236424
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 605
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald L. Horowitz is the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University. He is the author of, among other books, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (California, 2001) and A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (California, 1991), which won the Ralph Bunche Prize of the American Political Science Association.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
A Note on Place Names xvii
1. Say It with Murder 1
The Morphology and Dynamics of Violence 2
The Riot as Cause, Effect, and Process 9
The Forms of Ascriptive Violence 17
Deploying the Data 28
The State of Violence Theory 34
2. Ethnic Boundaries, Riot Boundaries 43
Cognitive and Strategic Bases of Ethnicity 43
The Ontology of the Riot 56
Composing the Decomposable 69
3. The Riot Episode 71
The Rhythm of the Riot 71
Before the Riot: The Critical Role of Rumor 74
Before the Riot: The Lull 89
Preparing for War, Conquering Fear 94
The Atrocity-Killing 109
4. Selective Targeting 124
Precision in Targeting 124
The Aversion to False Positives 128
Target Selection: The Starting Points 131
Strong or Weak Targets? The Question of Displaced Aggression 135
Beyond Displacement: Strong Targets, Weak Moments 148
5. Target-Group Characteristics 151
Reputation for Aggression 151
Traditional Antagonism 155
Opposition in War 162
Political Threat 165
External Affinities Augmenting Internal Strength 172
Psychological Strength 178
Antipathy, Similarity, and Difference 187
6. An Economy of Antipathy
Target Selection and the Imperatives of Violence 194
The Source of the Precipitant and the Choice of Target 197
Riot Leadership and Target Choice 204
Riot Location and Target Choice 220
Targeting: Reflections and Distortions 222
7. Organizers and Participants 224
Indicators of Organization 227
Organizers 229
The Dubious Advantage of Strong Organization 253
The Power of Loose Organization 254
The Legions of Violence 258
The Deadly Riot as a Pickup Game 266
8. The Occasions for Violence 268
Flashpoints: The Events That Precipitate Riots 269
A Parade of Processions 272
Strikes with Ethnic Overtones 290
Divisive Elections 295
Official or Unofficial Alternations of Relative Ethnic Status 308
The Character of Precipitating Events 317
Precipitant-free Riots 323
9. The Social Environment for Killing 326
Interregna 331
The Decline of Multiethnic Parties and Coalitions 334
Fluctuations in Policy 337
Authoritative Tolerance, Acquiescence, or Condonation 343
Biased or Ineffective Instruments of Public Order 352
Inhibition and Disinhibition 359
Absence of Remorse: The Moral Mass Murder 366
10. Location, Diffusion, and Recurrence 374
Location: Differentials in the Fundamentals 376
Propinquity and Urban Bias 381
Site Selection and Risk Aversion 384
The Diffusion of Violence 395
Recidivist Locations 407
Recurrent Riots 411
11. Aims, Effects, and Functions 423
Narrow Aims, Broad Effects 425
Degradation 430
Homogenization 433
Polarization 443
Civil and Secessionist Warfare 446
Contingent Effects 453
The Putative Functions of Violence 458
12. Violence and Quiescence 467
Proof Positive and Proof Negative: The Problem of Variance 468
Theories of Quiescence from the Larger Research Cycle 471
Near-Miss Strategies 477
Alternatives to Riots: Lynching and Burning 479
Alternatives to Riots: Ethnic Terrorism 482
Mild Riots and Near-Riots 485
Ethnic Fights 495
Changes over Time: Nonrecurring Riots 497
Non-Riots 509
The Hunt for the Missing Variables 512
Paths to Prevention 513
13. The Calculus of Passion 522
Convening the Killing Crowd: A Causal Account 523
Strategic and Rationalist Approaches to Ethnic Violence 545
Reason and Passion: Hypervigilance, Circumspection, and Being of More Than One Mind 555
The Decline of the Deadly Ethnic Riot in the West 560
Index 567
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)