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Violence stemming from ethnic and political tensions is a problem of increasing proportions throughout the world, and many indicators show that large numbers of children are directly or indirectly exposed to war, political repression, torture, and terrorism. There is growing evidence to suggest that children are at risk under these conditions, and that the consequences of growing up amid danger, chaos, and deprivation can be severe. The articles contained in this special section were assembled to foster greater awareness of this important topic among the readers of Child Development and, hopefully, stimulate new research on ethnic and political violence in many of the disciplines that are represented within the Society for Research in Child Development.