The Logic of Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Africa

The Logic of Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Africa

By: John F. McCauley (author)Hardback

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This book explains why conflicts in Africa are sometimes ethnic and sometimes religious, and why a conflict might change from ethnic to religious even as the opponents remain fixed. Conflicts in the region are often viewed as either 'tribal' or 'Muslim-Christian', seemingly rooted in deep-seated ethnic or religious hatreds. Yet, as this book explains, those labels emerge as a function of political mobilization. It argues that ethnicity and religion inspire distinct passions among individuals, and that political leaders exploit those passions to achieve their own strategic goals when the institutions of the state break down. To support this argument, the book relies on a novel experiment conducted in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana to demonstrate that individual preferences change in ethnic and religious contexts. It then uses case illustrations from Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Sudan to highlight the strategic choices of leaders that ultimately shape the frames of conflict.

About Author

John F. McCauley is an Assistant Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research focuses on ethnic and religious conflict, economic development, and informal political institutions in Africa. He has published articles on these topics in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, Political Psychology, and Political Science Research and Methods, among others. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation. He has conducted field research in Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Madagascar, Niger, and Nigeria.


Part I: 1. Introduction; 2. A theory of mobilization differences in identity types; 3. Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana; 4. Observable implications; Part II: 5. Theory of political choice; 6. Ethnic and religious identity in Cote d'Ivoire's conflict; 7. Ethnicity and religion in Sudan's civil wars; 8. Ethnicity and religion in Nigeria's Biafran war; 9. Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107175013
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 248
  • ID: 9781107175013
  • weight: 480
  • ISBN10: 1107175011

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