Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

7 - Education and Ethno-Nationalist Conflict in Canada and Germany


While providing evidence that education contributes to ethnic violence, the statistical findings of Chapter 3 suggest that education does not promote violence in all environments, pointing to the scarcity of resources and ineffective political institutions as influential factors that interact with education to promote ethnic violence. Most of the qualitative case studies in previous chapters analyze ethnic violence in countries characterized by scarce resources and relatively ineffective political institutions. The sole exception is Kerala, which is relatively poor but has effective political institutions, and the case offers insight into how effective political institutions interact with education to limit ethnic violence.

In this chapter, I continue to explore whether and how scope conditions shape the impact of education on ethnic violence, focusing on both effective political institutions and resource availability. The first case study analyzes the Quebec separatist movement in Canada. This ethno-nationalist movement had the potential to turn violent (and did in a few instances) but has been overwhelmingly peaceful. I begin the case study by exploring whether education contributed to the separatist movement in any way. Next, I investigate whether any factors directly and indirectly related to its economy and political institutions help explain why the separatist movement did not turn violent. The second case study analyzes Germany. Instead of simply considering contemporary Germany, however, the case study compares contemporary Germany with Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, focusing on the Nazi and neo-Nazi movements and the ethno-nationalist violence committed by each. The analysis describes how the educated were overrepresented among the supporters of the Nazis but underrepresented among the supporters of the neo-Nazis and investigates whether the different economic and political contexts help explain this difference.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO