Merhaba Misafir

Ethnic violence and conflict: The dynamics of Ibn Khaldun’s theory of asabiyyah (social feeling)


What drives social change toward conflict? This is probably the main challenge in addressing what nurtures intra-state conflicts, and why sub-groups rebel and claim a separatist identity and politics in the pursuit of some ethnocentric needs. Throughout history, ethnic conflicts have long been a component of international politics. Even today, ethnic wars continue to be the most common form of armed conflicts around the world. The challenge of modernisation produces alienation which the ethnic groups are ill-prepared to withstand. Challenges to sociocultural and political ties, values, orientations, institutions and hierarchical social order is often viewed or perceived by the elite of these ethnic groups as threats to identity. Moreover, the intensive and extensive competition created by modernisation generates social frustration and anger leading to social conflict and violence. In this backboard, Ibn Khaldun’s theory of ‘Asabiyyah (social feeling) plays a vital role understanding the social bondage of these ethnic groups. He explained how this complex term encompasses both the cohesive force of the group, the conscience that it has its own specificity and collective aspirations, and the tensions that animate it ineluctably to seek power. Accordingly, ‘Asabiyyah is what puts social groups on hegemonic Steroids, and makes individuals feel powerful at a particular point in time. The paper attempts to explore and examine the contemporary ethnic conflicts and violence through Ibn Khaldun’s theory of social feeling. It concludes that any cultural, social, political threat to an ethnic group leads to conflict. It advocates that providing proper democratic space and representation of ethnic groups in decision making and policy forming bodies would reduce the ethnic tensions.

Yayınlandığı Kaynak : İbn Haldun Çalışmaları Dergisi
  • Yıl : 2018
  • Cilt : 3
  • ISSN : 2651-379X
  • Sayı : 2
  • Sayfa Aralığı : 189-202
  • IO Kayıt No : 100059
  • Yayıncı : İbn Haldun Üniversitesi