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Working paper

Intrastate Ethnic Conflicts and External State Support of Ethnic Minorities in East Asia: Theoretical Perspectives

Most states in East Asia (Northeast and Southeast Asia) are ethnically diverse and have experienced or are currently experiencing ethnic conflict. Although, intrastate ethnic conflicts are in the domain of domestic politics, they often become “internationalized”, when an external state becomes involved. How can the difference in the behaviour of East Asian states regarding intrastate ethnic conflicts in other states of the region be explained? Scholars of international relations (IR) have come up with a variety of explanatory factors for a state’s decision whether to intervene. This paper presents an overview of the major theories and evaluates their explanatory power for IR in East Asia after the end of Cold War. The results presented in this paper lay the groundwork for the future qualitative empirical research