Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics)

Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics)

By: Lars-Erik Cederman (author), Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (author), Halvard Buhaug (author)Paperback

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This book argues that political and economic inequalities following group lines generate grievances that in turn can motivate civil war. Lars-Erik Cederman, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, and Halvard Buhaug offer a theoretical approach that highlights ethnonationalism and how the relationship between group identities and inequalities are fundamental for successful mobilization to resort to violence. Although previous research highlighted grievances as a key motivation for political violence, contemporary research on civil war has largely dismissed grievances as irrelevant, emphasizing instead the role of opportunities. This book shows that the alleged non-results for grievances in previous research stemmed primarily from atheoretical measures, typically based on individual data. The authors develop new indicators of political and economic exclusion at the group level, and show that these exert strong effects on the risk of civil war. They provide new analyses of the effects of transnational ethnic links and the duration of civil wars, and extended case discussions illustrating causal mechanisms.

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About Author

Lars-Erik Cederman is Professor of International Conflict Research at the Center for Comparative and International Studies at ETH Zurich. His research interests include conflict processes related to ethnicity, nationalism, democratization and state formation. He is the author of Emergent Actors in World Politics: How States and Nations Develop and Dissolve (1997), the editor of Constructing Europe's Identity: The External Dimension (2001) and co-editor of New Systems Theories of World Politics (with Mathias Albert and Alexander Wendt, 2010). He is the winner of the 2012 and 2002 American Political Science Association's Heinz I. Eulau Awards (in 2012 with Kristian Skrede Gleditsch and Nils B. Weidmann), the 2000 Furniss Award for Emergent Actors in World Politics, and the Horace H. Rackham Distinguished Dissertation Award from the University of Michigan. Kristian Skrede Gleditsch is Professor in the Department of Government, University of Essex, and a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Civil War, Peace Research Institute Oslo. His research interests include conflict and cooperation, democratization, and spatial dimensions of social and political processes. He is the author of All International Politics is Local: The Diffusion of Conflict, Integration, and Democratization (2002) and Spatial Regression Models (2008), as well as numerous journal articles. He is the winner of the 2012 American Political Science Association's Heinz I. Eulau Award (with Lars-Erik Cederman and Nils B. Weidmann), the 2011 International Association for Conflict Management outstanding article in the field award (with David E. Cunningham and Idean Salehyan), the 2007 Karl Deutsch Award from International Studies Association, and the 2000 American Political Science Association's Helen Dwight Reid Award. Halvard Buhaug is Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and Professor of Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is also coordinator of PRIO's Research Group on the Environment. His research interests include use of geographic information systems in conflict research, local dimensions of armed conflict, and security implications of climate change. In 2006, he received the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters award for excellent research by young scholars in human sciences for work on geographical aspects of civil war. Recent academic publications include articles in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Global Environmental Change, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, International Organization, Political Geography, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.


1. Introduction; Part I. Theories and Concepts: 2. Inequality and grievances in the civil war literature; 3. From horizontal inequality to civil war via grievances; Part II. Analyzing the Outbreak of Civil War: 4. Political exclusion and civil war; 5. Economic inequality and civil war; 6. Transborder ethnic kin and civil war; 7. Country-level inequalities and civil war; Part III. Beyond Civil War Onset: 8. Political exclusion and the duration and outcomes of civil war; 9. Conclusions for theory and policy.

Product Details

  • publication date: 26/08/2013
  • ISBN13: 9781107603042
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 276
  • ID: 9781107603042
  • weight: 390
  • ISBN10: 1107603048

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