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When the Death Count Gets Higher: Intensifying ‘Sons of the Soil’ Conflicts
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

‘Sons of the soil’ conflicts seldom intensify above a low level of intrastate violence. Although frequent, they tend to remain small in scale, which has contributed to a lack of scholarly understanding about why some Sons of the soil conflict yet intensify more than others. Taking the role of the state into account, this study aims to investigate the causes for intensification in these conflicts. With a neoclassical realist approach, domestic factors behind the causal process of conflict intensification are unearthed, thereby investigating further the action-formation of the government threat perception. It leads the study to test the following hypothesis: A Sons of the soil conflict is more likely to intensify if the government misperceives the threat the conflict constitutes. Through a comparative process tracing analysis of Sons of the soil conflict intensity in Mali and Niger, 2006-2012, findings suggest that certain domestic factors at the state level cause a significant variation in the outcome. Actual low threats of Sons of the soil conflict may in fact be intensified due to state misperceptions. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
Sons of the soil, civil war, conflict intensity, balance of power, misperception, Mali, Niger
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303327OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-303327DiVA: diva2:971495
Subject / course
Peace and Conflict Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved

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