Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Great Work On Nationality Conflict and Border Effects

I went to an excellent presentation of my supervisor Max –Stephan Schulze today. Max (with co-author Nikolaus Wolf) is using solid quantitative economics to show that the rising nationalistic tensions in the Austro-Hungarian empire seem to create a border effect – even before the post WWI borders were in place. He attributes this mainly due to the ethnic tensions within the empire, and tests for that hypothesis using language parameters. It is great work since it uses quantitative tools adeptly and matching it to historical qualitative knowledge of ethnic tensions within the Empire.
One of the most interesting side issues is that it seems that the 1920 border of the treaty of Trianon was well thought out – it seemed to follow the lines of the border effect causes by ethnic tensions. I would love to see that exercise repeated for failed treaties such as the treaty of Sevres in 1920, to see if a border effect was there. Most interestingly in the case of Cyprus is too see if there was such an effect before the inter-communal violence in Cyprus.

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