Daily Archives: September 13, 2018

Recent publication and theoretical statement

Below is the address for my most recent publication. An abstract precedes it. I have been working in this area for my entire career and tried to make some arguments about the nature of ethnicity and some relationships between ethnicity and communication. I emphasize the word “building” in the title because I intended the article to contribute to the development of theory rather than stand alone staking a theoretical claim. I hope it stands as a contribution to both conflict theory, ethnicity, conflict management, and identity.

Don Ellis

Building a Theory of Communication and Ethnopolitical Conflict


Coherent theoretical development of theories of ethnopolitical conflict has been slow and scattered. Moreover, the role of communication has been seriously neglected. I theorize ethnopolitical conflict along two dimensions: the level in which the conflict is entered (macro state-level, mid civil society level, and individual level) and the type of communication most characteristic of the level (bargaining and negotiation, intergroup relations and intercultural communication, identity theories and deliberative processes).  Additionally, the article makes the case for a social constructionist perspective on ethnicity, and develops a relationship between communication and ethnopolitical conflict. Finally, theories of communication are posed as mediators of social systems that couple the communication systems of two conflictive groups in order for them to increase commensurability.



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