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Inequality, Grievances and Civil War

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1 Inequality, Grievances and Civil War
Lars-Erik Cederman, ETH Zürich Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, University of Essex & PRIO  Halvard Buhaug, PRIO & NTNU Cambridge University Press, 2013

2 Main argument Grievance skepticism in civil-war literature
Yet, we argue that grievances matter Approach: Intermediate disaggregation Motivational mechanisms, not just cognition Ethno-Nationalism, not just ethnicity Relevant data, rather than standard toolbox

3 From inequalities to civil war
Horizontal Inequalities Civil War Empirical link Group identification Intergroup comparison Evaluation of injustice Framing and blaming Claims & Repression Mobilization Grievances

4 Group level dyads State Polity Government Legend: Included group
Excluded group Group 4 Group 6 Political relationship Group 5

5 Using Ethnic Power Relations (EPR-ETH) Data to Study the Effect of Exclusion and Downgrading

6 Polygon overlay (Yugoslavia)
Given examples of typical research: Our modeling efforts have so far focused on statistical and computational methods.    Group-level inequalities ==> civil-war violence However, notoriously difficult to find data on wealth of ethnic groups We use spatial GDP data from Nordhaus G-Econ covering the whole globe and then use the geocoded settlement contours as cookie cutters. This allows us to estimate inequality between ethnic groups worldwide and to link inequality to conflict. This curve shows that both richer and poorer groups tend to experience violence.

7 Effect for poor groups low_ratio = G/g if g<G, 1 otherwise
where G = GDP pc of country   g = GDP pc of group

8 Beyond dyadic group model
Transnational ethnic-kin Grievances and conflict duration Scaling to country level Constructing better indicators with group-level information Improving conventional risk forecasts Two main variables: relative group size and relative TEK size in first and second dyads Primary dyad: H1. Monotonic effect. Main idea: more resources  conflict; but also motivation: larger groups feel entitled to more, especially in cases of minority rule Secondary dyads: Two hypotheses should be false H2. Mere existence of ethnic kin across the border regardless of size should not matte (essentialism) H3. A straight monotonic effect fails to solve the problem and should not be true H4. Our curvilinear hypothesis, which is different from the domestic relationship according to H1! Mechanism 1: Rather than just looking at increased potential support for group from large TEK groups, we also consider the deterrent effect making the incumbent cautious in case of increasing relative TEK size. Mechanism 2: Uncertainty, which is much more acutely felt in transborder relations, should make power parity more conflict prone, as has been found in the IR literature! H5. In analogy with the reasoning under H4, we also believe that TEK groups that are represented in the government (EGIPs) should be more cautious than those that are excluded and have little to lose (like the Kurds). This sense of caution should be especially powerful where the incumbent TEK group could destabilize its own state by triggering secessions involving other minorities.

9 Conclusions for theory
Core themes Grievances matter! Economic and political HIs increase risk of civil war Theory-measure correspondence Disaggregation in study of conflict Scaling information at different levels of analysis Theory development in new research areas

10 Conclusions for policy
Address grievances rather than merely strengthening state Focus on demos/inclusion/inequality, not just democracy as elections Relevance to Iraq and Syria Exclusion and discrimination declining globally, but still significant conflict risks

11 Exclusion over time

12 Current research: Gleditsch
Spatial evolution of conflict Spread vs. containment Implications for peacekeeping Conflict and tactics Non-violent direct action, terrorism and indirect targeting; non-violent direct action Group perspective on strategy choice

13 Current research: Buhaug
Security implications of climate change Food insecurity and urban protest Agricultural loss and rural unrest An urbanization bomb? All global population growth until 2050 will be absorbed by cities in developing countries Increasing poverty, inequalities, unemployment to be expected without successful adaptation

14 Current research: Cederman
Endogeneity of exclusion Measuring economic horizontal inequality Power sharing Trends in inequality and civil war Ethnic Power Relations data: next release in October, see

15 Instrumenting for Exclusion
Colonial Strategy Initial Exclusion Conflict * In another collaborative project that includes Julian Wucherpfennig, Philipp Hunziker, and myself,we attempt to find a measure of exclusion that is independent of conflict. * Focusing on post-colonial states, we exploit differences in the colonial empires’ approach to the ethnicity of colonized populations within each colony. As opposed to the French ethnically neutral approach that tended to include those groups that were close to the coast, the British application of “selective indirect rule” made peripheral groups more, rather than less, influential. Thanks to this variation in terms of colonial strategies and group locations, we come up with a clean estimate of initial exclusion in post-colonial states, and use this variable as an explanation of internal conflict. * Based on this research strategy, we arrive at very clear results that confirm our previous studies that explain ethno-nationalist conflict in terms of limited power access. If anything, this work has tended to underestimate the actual conflict-inducing impact of political exclusion. * limitations: Not time variant (impossible to evaluate inclusion decisions along the way) Only postcolonial cases. Yet at least it tells us that the exclusion result holds Reference to Fearon & co’s attack on our exclusion result Exclusion where possible (excluding where it is safe means bringing in the problem cases) states calibrate as much as they can get away with! Exclusion where necessary (excluding trouble makers) Wucherpfennig, Hunziker, Cederman “Who Inherits the State? Colonial Rule and Post-Colonial Conflict.” Working paper, UCL and ETH Zürich.

16 Using satellite and survey data to improve measures of econ. HI
G-Econ Estimate Nightlights Estimate Myanmar Cederman, Weidmann and Bormann Triangulating Horizontal Inequality: Toward Improved Conflict Analysis. APSA, Washington DC.

17 Ethnic inclusion & power sharing
Prewar conflict risk Postwar conflict risk SNF Project Cederman & Hug Using EPR data Focus on ethnic inclusion through territorial and governmental power sharing, i.e. autonomy and inclusion * autonomy and inclusion useful * baseline (esp. before and after conflict) * disaggregated (see asymmetric federalism) Postwar autonomy may be too little too late, but * preventive prewar effect * does not make things worse * postwar inclusion does work New evidence showing that autonomy with inclusion is quite effective Cederman, Hug, Schädel & Wucherpfennig “Territorial autonomy in the shadow of future conflict: Too little too late?” APSA, Chicago.

18 Exclusion and the decline of violence
Cederman, Gleditsch & Wucherpfennig Explaining the Decline of Ethnic Conflict: Was Gurr Right and For the Right Reasons? APSA, Washington DC.

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