The purpose of this review is to identify a framework for understanding the internationalization of ethnic conflict. We examine three approaches that purport to explain escalation-namely extension, interaction, and transformation-and emphasize the fact that each theory by itself lacks full explanatory power. Synthesis that focuses on factors from state and society, which shape the decision to become involved in ethnic strife is essential. Examination of the preceding factors reveals that institutional configurations and ethnic composition indeed do limit future options available to states and influence the distribution of capabilities among leaders of groups. The main conclusion of this essay is that ethnic diversity in a society and high constraint on state action are optimal conditions for overcoming insecurity.

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Journal International Studies Review
Carment, D, James, P. (Patrick), & Taydas, Z. (Zeynep). (2009). The internationalization of ethnic conflict: State, society, and synthesis. International Studies Review (Vol. 11, pp. 63–86). doi:10.1111/j.1468-2486.2008.01825.x