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Contagion of Ethnic Conflict:: Uncertainty in a Widened Strategic Setting
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2006 (English)Conference paper (Other (popular scientific, debate etc.))
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the conditions under which ethnic conflict may be contagious. Since ethnic conflict and ethnic groups overlap international boundaries, this paper argues that they should be analyzed using a widened notion of a strategic setting. It is suggested that regions encapsulating each conflict and its neighboring states provide such an environment. From a general notion of uncertainty as a key characteristic of the strategic environment, two explanations are outlined. Firstly, it is suggested that the existence of ethnic kin between conflict actors and groups across the borders of the state in conflict is associated with an increased risk of onset of ethnic conflict in the state at risk of contagion. Secondly, if the conflict state and a neighboring state are similar in terms of the factors commonly associated with the onset of violent conflict, here indicated by the level of democracy and economic wealth, the likelihood of ethnic conflict is heightened in the state at risk. The hypotheses are evaluated statistically with new data on the ethnic constituency of actors as well as measures of structural similarities. While the ethnic kin hypothesis is supported in all models tested, the impact of structural similarities cannot be confirmed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. 30- p.
Keyword [en]
ethnic conflict, conflict diffusion, ethnic kin, strategic interaction
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-17878OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-17878DiVA: diva2:45649
Available from: 2007-04-24 Created: 2007-04-24

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