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I. Introduction
In the past few decades, the world has seen numerous cases of ethnic conflict break out. This was extremely surprising for most intellectuals as it was believed that in the face of state-formation and globalization, ethnic identities would be blurred and would eventually phase out. Thus in the post-80’s era, the emergence of ethnic identities which were stronger than ever and the eruption of large scale violence driven by ethnic tensions was a cause for both, surprise and concern.
Naturally, this led to the ubiquitous question: What causes ethnic tensions to escalate to the point of large scale genocide? The answer has been examined from all possible angles using different case studies. This paper shall attempt to outline the main factors which lead to ethnic violence, and will point out how various cases of ethnic conflict, even though they occurred in different parts of the world, and indeed, at different times, usually have the same common elements to them. In this paper, Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina will be used as case studies to elaborate the aforementioned framework.

II. Driving Ethnic Hatred: The Common Denominators
Bojana Blagojevic argues that ethnic hatreds erupt when a number of factors and certain conditions converge. Ethnic conflict usually materializes when a major structural change results in an intense competition for control over resources. Throughout this time, institutions and politicians appeal to ethnic sentiments, which cause memories of historic inter-ethnic grievances to reemerge and consequently lead to the formation/reinforcement of ethnic boundaries. As a result, ethnic tensions are heightened and usually lead to violence. Blagojevic concedes that each ethnic conflict is unique in its own context, but asserts that the aforementioned factors are “common denominators”.

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