Polarization and Ethnic Conflict in a Widened Strategic Setting
2008 (English)In: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578, Vol. 45, no 2, 283-300 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ethnic groups and conflicts often transcend country borders, indicating that notions of relative strength and resolve may also surpass such borders. This study focuses on the association between ethnic polarization and conflict in a widened strategic environment, encapsulating each state that experiences ethnic conflict and its neighboring states, and involving contagion processes. Two claims are presented. First, when a state experiences ethnic conflict, neighboring states that are ethnically polarized are more likely to also experience ethnic conflict. Second, when a group involved in ethnic conflict has a kinship tie to a group in a neighboring state, the latter group is increasingly likely to be inspired to challenge the government and end up in ethnic conflict. This should be especially likely if the group resides in a state characterized by ethnic polarization. To evaluate these claims, this article employs logit regression on a global dataset covering the period from 1989 to 2004. The empirical analysis supports the first claim; polarized states are indeed associated with an increased likelihood of contagion processes. The findings also demonstrate that kinship links make contagion more likely; however, this effect is not conditioned by the level of ethnic polarization. The results are robust to a series of alternative specifications. In conclusion, these findings point to the importance of incorporating a widened strategic setting in the analysis when examining the association between ethnic polarization and civil conflict.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 45, no 2, 283-300 p.
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject Peace and Conflict Research
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-87711DOI: 10.1177/0022343307087185ISI: 000255002500009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-87711DiVA: diva2:133315