Leveling Crowds: Ethnonationalist Conflicts and Collective Violence in South Asia / Edition 1

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Overview

Ethno-nationalist conflicts are rampant today, causing immense human loss. Stanley J. Tambiah is concerned with the nature of the ethno-nationalist explosions that have disfigured so many regions of the world in recent years. He focuses primarily on collective violence in the form of civilian "riots" in South Asia, using selected instances in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India. He situates these riots in the larger political, economic, and religious contexts in which they took place and also examines the strategic actions and motivations of their principal agents. In applying a wide range of social theory to the problems of ethnic and religious violence, Tambiah pays close attention to the history and culture of the region. On one level this provocative book is a scrupulously detailed anthropological and historical study, but on another it is an attempt to understand the social and political changes needed for a more humane order, not just in South Asia, but throughout the world.

Author Biography: Stanley J. Tambiah is Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. Among his several books is Sri Lanka: Ethnic Fratricide and the Dismantling of Democracy (1991).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520206427
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/3/1997
  • Series: Comparative Studies in Religion and Society Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 417
  • Sales rank: 1,247,446
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author


Stanley J. Tambiah is Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. Among his several books is Sri Lanka: Ethnic Fratricide and the Dismantling of Democracy (1991).
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Table of Contents

List of Figures, Maps, and Tables
Preface
Pt. 1 Selected Sites of Conflict in South Asia
1 The Wider Context 3
2 Orientation and Objectives 20
3 The 1915 Sinhala Buddhist-Muslim Riots in Ceylon 36
4 Two Postindependence Ethnic Riots in Sri Lanka 82
5 Sikh Identity, Separation, and Ethnic Conflict 101
6 Ethnic Conflict in Pakistan 163
Pt. 2 Rethinking the Nature of Collective Violence
7 Some General Features of Ethnic Riots and Riot Crowds 213
8 The Routinization and Ritualization of Violence 221
9 Hindu Nationalism, the Ayodhya Campaign, and the Babri Masjid 244
10 Entering a Dark Continent: The Political Psychology of Crowds 266
11 Reconfiguring Le Bon and Durkheim on Crowds as Collectives 297
12 The Moral Economy of Collective Violence 309
Notes 343
Bibliography 375
Index 385
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