Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Elizabeth Morrow Clark
Ethnic cleansing refers to the act of purging a region or area of a particular group based on its ethnic or racial identity, through violence and intentional oppression against the targeted group. Activities associated with ethnic cleansing include forced migrations, population transfers, appropriation of property, establishment of resettlement camps, threats of violence, and acts of violence (rape, torture, murder) on an individual and mass scale. Smaller-scale but equally insidious acts include prohibitions against citizenship and work; restricted civil rights; and restrictions on the right to bear arms, own property, use public resources, and communicate with the outside world. The intent of these deliberate acts is to alienate and exclude the target group. The purpose of ethnic cleansing, a type of extreme action on behalf of nationalism or national self-determination, is ostensibly to purify a region or place. A majority or dominant group empties a region to occupy it. The offered ...