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One God, Many Wars: Religious dimensions of armed conflict in the Middle East and North Africa
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2013 (English)In: Civil Wars, ISSN 1369-8249, Vol. 15, no 4, 411-430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the religious dimensions of armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region where the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity traditionally dominate. Applying a regional perspective, this study finds that about half of the armed conflicts in the MENA region were between parties, where at least one side had made explicit reference to religion in their basic demands, and this category of conflicts has increased substantially over time. Why are religious civil wars becoming relatively more common over time in the MENA region? I argue that the relatively high frequency of religious armed intrastate conflicts in the region can be explained by three major empirical regularities: (1) the intractability of interreligious conflicts; (2) the spread of several but relatively shorter intrareligious disputes; and (3) the increasingly transnational aspect of religious disputes in the MENA region. Although these trends have been countered by the emergence of institutional settlements of some of the armed conflicts, these types of conflict management and conflict resolution attempts have, so far, been too few to generate a general shift in the basic empirical patterns. This paper provides an empirical overview over the main patterns and ends by identifying some important avenues for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2013. Vol. 15, no 4, 411-430 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191295DOI: 10.1080/13698249.2013.853409OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191295DiVA: diva2:585275
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2015-09-23Bibliographically approved

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