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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

Expert on ethnic violence to speak
at URI Honors Colloquium Sept. 30

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 22, 2003 -- A professor of international law at Yale Law School will discuss ethnic violence and its link to free-market democracy as part of the University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium, "The Futures of Globalization," Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Amy Chua, author of The New York Times bestseller, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, will speak at 7 p.m. in URI’s Chafee Social Science Center, Room 271. Her talk and all colloquium programs are free and open to the public.

For more than a decade, the consensus has held that the combination of free markets and democracy would transform the Third World and sweep away ethnic hatred and religious zealotry associated with underdevelopment.

Chua will show that many developing countries are in fact consumed by ethnic violence after adopting free-market democracy.

In her book, Chua addresses what she describes as "market-dominant minorities" – Chinese in the Philippines, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America, Indians in East Africa, Jews in Russia – become objects of violent hatred.

At the same time, Chua argues, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometime genocidal revenge. She also says the United States has become the world’s most visible market-dominant minority, which helps explain the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world.

Chua is clear that she is not blaming prosperous ethnic groups for violence directed against them, or blaming capitalism alone for fomenting genocide.

Instead, her point is that "in the numerous countries around the world that have pervasive poverty and a market-dominant minority, democracy and markets – at least in the form in which they are currently being promoted – can proceed only in deep tension with each other."

Please visit for the most current colloquium information and full schedule of events and directions, or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or

The program’s major sponsors are: the URI Honors Program and President’s Office, The Providence Journal, Fidelity Investments, URI Foundation, URI College of Arts and Sciences and the URI College of Business Administration.

Other sponsors are the URI Office of Student Affairs, URI Alumni Association, URI Multicultural Center and URI College of Pharmacy.

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Page last revised Wednesday, September 24, 2003 .