Institutions can contribute to regulating interethnic conflict; however, in many cases they
fail to bring about lasting peace. The paper argues that their negligence of intraethnic factors
accounts for some of this failure. Ethnic groups are often treated as unitary actors
even though most consist of various linguistic, tribal or religious subgroups. This internal
heterogeneity is often obscured by overarching collective ethnic identities that are fostered
by interethnic conflict. However, when such interethnic conflict is settled, these subgroup
differences may come back to the fore. This “resurgence” can lead to subgroup conflict
about the political and economic resources provided through intergroup institutional settlements.
Such conflict can in turn undermine the peace‐making effect of intergroup arrangements.
Different subgroup identity constellations make such destructive effects more or
less likely. The paper focuses on self‐government provisions in the aftermath of violent
interethnic conflict and argues that lasting intergroup arrangements are especially challenging
when they involve “contested” ethnic groups.