Group identity, rationality, and the state

Critical Review 11 (2):279-289 (1997)
Abstract The rational choice approach to the understanding of group identity and conflict tends to overlook the extent to which groups are mutable, and the element of design by group leaders (especially those wielding state power) in the definition of group identity and the shaping of rationality. The 1994 genocide of the Rwandese Tutsis was the outcome of an extreme case of planning ethnic and ideological engineering. To see such phenomena as instances of ?rational self?interest? stretches that concept beyond its breaking point.
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