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Escalation of Communal Conflicts: Intra-group competition and the role of inter-group violence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Communal conflicts are not only under-researched but also when analysed intra-group interactions and power dynamics are overlooked. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the micro dynamics of communal groups in relation with the escalation of violence by asking why do some communal conflicts escalate while others do not?

Using a two-step causal process and theories about ethnic competition, terrorist strategies, and spoiler behaviour, I argue that communal conflicts escalate because violence is used by sub-groups of a community against another community as a way of costly signaling.

In order to test the hypothesis, The higher the level of intra-group competition, the more likely the inter-group communal conflict will escalate, I am going to use the method of Structured Focus Comparison (SFC) to examine and systematically compare two cases of communal conflict from Kenya that differ in the outcome: Dassanetch vs. Turkana (2000) and Samburu vs. Borana (2001).

Analysing data from UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset and different secondary sources, especially ethnographic accounts, I find modest support for the hypothesis and a limited explanatory power for the theoretical argument, shedding light on other factors that may have a role in the escalation of violence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 80 p.
Keyword [en]
Africa, communal conflicts, escalation of violence, intra-group competition
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-325599OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-325599DiVA: diva2:1115349
Subject / course
Peace and Conflict Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-06-27 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2017-06-27Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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