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The Geography of Fear: Regional Ethnic Diversity, the Security Dilemma, and Ethnic War
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5835-0618
2009 (English)In: European Journal of International Relations, ISSN 1354-0661, E-ISSN 1460-3713, Vol. 15, no 1, 95-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores to what extent the security dilemma through geographically induced first-strike advantages is a contributing cause of ethnic warfare. If there are possibly decisive advantages to be gained from striking the first blow, both temptation and fear may shortcut efforts to resolve a conflict in less costly ways, and trigger massive violence. Theoretical work and case studies suggest that in ethnic conflicts intermingled settlement patterns give rise to such first-strike advantages. I test whether ethnic groups in conflict are more likely to become involved in ethnic warfare if their main region of settlement is ethnically diverse. I also include controls intended to capture other aspects of the security dilemma. In robustness tests, I add indicators of group concentration and local majority status that have been found to increase the risk of ethnic violence in previous quantitative studies. I find a strong, statistically significant association between regional ethnic diversity and ethnic warfare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 15, no 1, 95-124 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethnic cleansing, Ethnic conflict, Preemption, Security dilemma, Settlement patterns
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-99854DOI: 10.1177/1354066108100054ISI: 000264377300005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-99854DiVA: diva2:208892
Available from: 2009-03-21 Created: 2009-03-21 Last updated: 2016-02-01

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Melander, Erik
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