The Dark Side of Democracy is the most comprehensive study of ethnic cleansing.
In addressing the origins of ethnic cleansing, UCLA sociologist Mann (Fascism) locates differing stages of political participation as a major factor. He begins with stable authoritarian regimes (e.g., Tito's Yugoslavia) that exclude participation; when such regimes break down, there is a period of everybody scrambling for power and trying to exclude somebody else with the "else" usually defined on ethnic lines. Other examples include Armenia, the Holocaust and Rwanda, as well as India (the Sikhs and Muslims) and Indonesia (the Chinese). Eventually, the author's somewhat optimistic scenario argues, we arrive at stable participatory societies, with everybody somewhat included and limits set on what can be done to exclude groups (the Voting Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S.). Free from sociological jargon and abundant in historical data, this study sufficiently allows lay readers access. It can be difficult at moments to tell if Mann's prediction of the high body count in the Third World's coming century or so of ethnic cleansing is Eurocentric, callous or grimly realistic, but such moments always resolve into that last choice. Mann proposes some feasible remedies and scales of intervention. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.