The concept of minority peoples is one that has emerged only recently, with the delineation of rigid national boundaries. At the present time there is barely a single UN member country which does not have a minority within its borders that is regarded as a political ‘problem’ for the central government. While there are a number of worthy studies of particular minority groups, until now there has not been a conceptual analysis of the phenomenon as it occurs worldwide. Why are some groups seen as a threat, and others tolerated? Prejudice has often been used as a pretext for crushing political, social or economic opponents: long before Hitler, political manipulators sought popularity by channelling public frustration on to vulnerable scapegoats. Now minority groups find themselves being coerced and manipulated for the purposes of the East-West conflict. This book tackles the thorny subjects of genocide, ethnocide and the diaspora, as well as looking in detail at the situation of minority groups that have received little media coverage: those in China, the Soviet Union and in the Islamic world. Some of these minorities, such as the Kurds, are having to fight for their lives against overwhelming military odds. Yet there are no simple solutions, and there are no wholly innocent, nor wholly guilty parties. The interplay between traditional culture, material advances and freedom of choice is complex, and a greater understanding of the issues involved is needed if any progress is to be made in solving these problems. Minority Peoples in the Age of Nation States has an important contribution to make in achieving this aim.