Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Horizontal Inequalities and Ethnonationalist Civil War: A Global Comparison

  • LARS-ERIK CEDERMAN (a1), NILS B. WEIDMANN (a2) and KRISTIAN SKREDE GLEDITSCH (a3)
Abstract

Contemporary research on civil war has largely dismissed the role of political and economic grievances, focusing instead on opportunities for conflict. However, these strong claims rest on questionable theoretical and empirical grounds. Whereas scholars have examined primarily the relationship between individual inequality and conflict, we argue that horizontal inequalities between politically relevant ethnic groups and states at large can promote ethnonationalist conflict. Extending the empirical scope to the entire world, this article introduces a new spatial method that combines our newly geocoded data on ethnic groups’ settlement areas with spatial wealth estimates. Based on these methodological advances, we find that, in highly unequal societies, both rich and poor groups fight more often than those groups whose wealth lies closer to the country average. Our results remain robust to a number of alternative sample definitions and specifications.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Lars-Erik Cederman is Professor, Center for Comparative and International Studies, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, IFW D 49.2, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland (lcederman@ethz.ch).
Nils B. Weidmann is Postdoctoral Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, P.O. Box 208206, New Haven, CT 06520 (nils.weidmann@yale.edu).
Kristian Skrede Gleditsch is Professor, Department of Government, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, UK CO4 3SQ (ksg@essex.ac.uk).
References
Hide All
Acemoğlu, Daron, and Robinson, James A.. 2005. Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kate, Baldwin, and Huber, John D.. 2010. “Economic versus Cultural Differences: Forms of Ethnic Diversity and Public Goods Provision.” American Political Science Review 104 (4): 644–62.
Barbalet, Jack M. 1992. “A Macrosociology of Emotion: Class Resentment.” Sociological Theory 10 (2): 150–63.
Barrows, Walter L. 1976. “Ethnic Diversity and Political Stability in Black Africa.” Comparative Political Studies 9 (2): 139–70.
Beck, Nathaniel, Katz, Jonathan N., and Tucker, Richard. 1998. “Taking Time Seriously: Time-series–Cross-section Analysis with a Binary Dependent Variable.” American Journal of Political Science 42 (4): 1260–88.
Beissinger, Mark R. 2002. Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Blattman, Christopher, and Miguel, Edward. 2010. “Civil War.” Journal of Economic Literature 48 (1): 357.
Brush, Stephen G. 1996. “Dynamics of Theory Change in the Social Sciences: Relative Deprivation and Collective Violence.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 40 (4): 523–45.
Buhaug, Halvard, Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede, Holtermann, Helge, Østby, Gudrun, and Tollefsen, Andreas Forø. N.d. “It's the Local Economy, Stupid! Geographic Wealth Dispersion and Conflict Outbreak Location.” Journal of Conflict Resolution. Forthcoming.
Cederman, Lars-Erik, Buhaug, Halvard, and Rød, Jan Ketil. 2009. “Ethno-nationalist Dyads and Civil War: A GIS-based Analysis.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (4): 496525.
Cederman, Lars-Erik, and Girardin, Luc. 2007. “Beyond Fractionalization: Mapping Ethnicity onto Nationalist Insurgencies.” American Political Science Review 101 (1): 173–85.
Cederman, Lars-Erik, Wimmer, Andreas, and Min, Brian. 2010. “Why Do Ethnic Groups Rebel? New Data and Analysis.” World Politics 62 (1): 87119.
Chen, Xi. 2008. “Description of Gecon 2.11.” Yale University. Typescript. http://gecon.yale.edu/data-and-documentation-g-econ-project (accessed April 13, 2011).
Chen, Xi, and Nordhaus, William D.. 2010. “The Value of Luminosity Data as a Proxy for Economic Statistics.” Working Paper 16317. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Collier, Paul. 2007. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done about It. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Collier, Paul, and Hoeffler, Anke. 2004. “Greed and Grievance in Civil Wars.”Oxford Economic Papers 56 (4): 563–95.
Collier, Paul, Hoeffler, Anke, and Rohner, Dominic. 2009. “Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War.” Oxford Economic Papers 61 (1): 127.
Cramer, Christopher. 2003. “Does Inequality Cause Conflict?Journal of International Development 15 (4): 397412.
Cunningham, David E., Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede, and Salehyan, Idean. 2009. “It Takes Two: A Dyadic Analysis of Civil War Duration and Outcome.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (4): 570–97.
Davies, James Chowning. 1962. “Toward a Theory of Revolution.” American Sociological Review 6 (1): 519.
Emirbayer, Mustafa, and Goldberg, Chad Alan. 2005. “Pragmatism, Bourdieu, and Collective Emotions in Contentious Politics.” Theory and Society 34 (5/6): 469518.
Fearon, James D., and Laitin, David D.. 2003. “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War.” American Political Science Review 97 (1): 7590
Fehr, Ernst, and Gächter, Simon. 2000. “Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14 (3): 159–81.
Gamson, William. 1992. Talking Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gates, Scott. 2002. “Recruitment and Allegiance: The Microfoundations of Rebellion.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 46 (1): 111–30.
Gellner, Ernest. 1964. Thought and Change. London: Widenfeld and Nicolson.
Gleditsch, Nils Petter, Wallensteen, Peter, Eriksson, Mikael, Sollenberg, Margareta, and Strand, Håvard. 2002. “Armed Conflict 1946–2001: A New Dataset.” Journal of Peace Research 39 (5): 615–37.
Gourevitch, Peter. 1979. “The Reemergence of ‘Peripheral Nationalisms’: Some Comparative Speculations on the Spatial Distribution of Political Leadership and Economic Growth.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 21 (3): 881912.
Gurr, Ted Robert. 1970. Why Men Rebel. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Gurr, Ted Robert. 1993. Minorities at Risk: A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflicts. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.
Gurr, Ted Robert. 2000a. “Ethnic Warfare on the Wane.” Foreign Affairs 79 (1): 5264.
Gurr, Ted Robert. 2000b. Peoples versus States: Minorities at Risk in the New Century. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.
Gurr, Ted Robert, and Duvall, Raymond. 1973. “Civil Conflict in the 1960s: A Reciprocal System with Parameter Estimates.” Comparative Political Studies 6 (2): 135–69.
Hechter, Michael. 1975. Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development, 1536–1966. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Hechter, Michael, and Okamoto, Dina. 2001. “Political Consequences of Minority Group Formation.” Annual Review of Political Science 4: 189215.
Hegre, Håvard, Østby, Gudrun, and Raleigh, Clionadh. 2009. “Poverty and Civil War Events: A Disaggregated Study of Liberia.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (4): 598623.
Hegre, Håvard, and Sambanis, Nicholas. 2006. “Sensitivity Analysis of Empirical Results on Civil War Onset.”Journal of Conflict Resolution 50 (4): 508–35.
Hogg, Michael A., and Abrams, Dominic. 1988. Social Identifications: A Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations and Group Processes. London: Routledge.
Horowitz, Donald L. 1985. Ethnic Groups in Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. 2006. The Logic of Violence in Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kalyvas, Stathis N., and Kocher, Matthew Adam. 2007. “How ‘Free’ Is Free Riding in Civil Wars? Violence, Insurgency, and the Collective Action Problem.” World Politics 59 (2): 177216.
Laitin, David D. 2007. Nations, States, and Violence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Langer, Armin. 2005. “Horizontal Inequalities and Violent Group Mobilization in Côte d'Ivoire.” Oxford Development Studies 33 (1): 2544.
Le Bon, Gustave. 1913. The Psychology of Revolution. New York: Putnam.
Lichbach, Mark Irving. 1989. “An Evaluation of ‘Does Economic Inequality Breed Political Conflict?’World Politics 41 (4): 431–70.
Lichbach, Mark Irving. 1995. The Rebel's Dilemma. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Mancini, Luca, Stewart, Frances, and Brown, Graham K.. 2008. “Approaches to the Measurement of Horizontal Inequalities.” In Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies, ed. Houndmills, F. Stewart., UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 85101.
Min, Brian. 2008. “Democracy and Light: Global Evidence on Public Goods Provision from Satellite.” University of California, Los Angeles. Typescript. http://bmin.bol.ucla.edu/ (accessed April 13, 2011).
MooreBarrington, Jr. Barrington, Jr. 1966. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Boston: Beacon Press.
Muller, Edward N. 1985. “Income Inequality, Regime Repressiveness, and Political Violence.” American Sociological Review 50 (1): 4761.
Muller, Edward N., and Seligson, Mitchell A.. 1987. “Inequality and Insurgency.” American Political Science Review 81 (2): 425–51.
Murshed, S. Mansoob, and Gates, Scott. 2005. “Spatial–Horizontal Inequality and the Maoist Insurgency in Nepal.” Review of Development Economics 9 (1): 121–34.
Nordhaus, William D. 2006. “Geography and Macroeconomics: New Data and New Findings.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (10): 3510–17.
Nordhaus, William, Azam, Qazi, Corderi, David, Hood, Kyle, Victor, Nadejda Makarova, Mohammed, Mukhtar, Miltner, Alexandra, and Weiss, Jyldyz. 2006. “Detailed Description of Derivation of G-Econ Data.” Yale University. Typescript. http://gecon.yale.edu/data-and-documentation-g-econ-project (accessed April 13, 2011).
Nordhaus, William D., and Chen, Xi. 2009. “Geography: Graphics and Economics.” B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy 9 (2): article 1. http://www.bepress.com/bejeap/vol9/iss2/art1 (accessed April 13, 2011).
Oberschall, Anthony. 1978. “Theories of Social Conflict.” Annual Review of Sociology 4: 291315.
Osaghae, E. Eghosa. 2008. “Social Movements and Rights Claims: The Case of Action Groups in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.” Voluntas 19 (2): 189210.
Østby, Gudrun. 2008a. “Inequalities, the Political Environment, and Civil Conflict: Evidence from 55 Developing Countries.” In Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies, ed. Houndmills, F. Stewart., UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 136–59.
Østby, Gudrun. 2008b. “Polarization, Horizontal Inequalities, and Violent Civil Conflict.” Journal of Peace Research 45 (2): 143–62.
Østby, Gudrun, Nordås, Ragnhild, and Rød, Jan Ketil. 2009. “Regional Inequalities and Civil Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa.” International Studies Quarterly 53 (2): 301–24.
Petersen, Roger. 2002. Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, and Resentment in Twentieth-century Eastern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Regan, Patrick M., and Norton, Daniel. 2005. “Greed, Grievance, and Mobilization in Civil Wars.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 49 (3): 319–36.
Ross, Michael L. 2005. “Resources and Rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia.” In Understanding Civil War: Evidence and Analysis, Vol. 2, eds. Collier, P. and Sambanis, N.. Washington, DC: World Bank, 3558.
Russett, Bruce M. 1964. “Inequality and Instability: The Relation of Land Tenure to Politics.” World Politics 16: 442–54.
Sambanis, Nicholas. 2005. “Conclusion: Using Case Studies to Refine and Expand the Theory of Civil War.” In Understanding Civil War: Evidence and Analysis, eds. Collier, P. and Sambanis, N.. Washington, DC: World Bank, 299330.
Sambanis, Nicholas, and Milanovic, Branko. 2009. “Explaining the Demand for Sovereignty.” Yale University. Unpublished paper.
Sambanis, Nicholas, and Zinn, Annalisa. 2006. “From Protest to Violence: An Analysis of Conflict Escalation with an Application to Self-Determination Movements.” Yale University. Unpublished paper.
Scott, James C. 1976. The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Simpson, Brent, and Macy, Michael W.. 2004. “Power, Identity, and Collective Action in Social Exchange.” Social Forces 82 (4): 13731409.
Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Snyder, David, and Tilly, Charles. 1972. “Hardship and Collective Violence in France, 1830 to 1960.” American Sociological Review 37 (5): 520–32.
Stewart, Frances. 2000. “The Root Causes of Humanitarian Emergencies.” In War, Hunger, and Displacement: The Origins of Humanitarian Emergencies, eds. Nafziger, E. W., Stewart, F., and Väyrynen, R.. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 141.
Stewart, Frances. 2008a. “Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: An Introduction and Some Hypotheses.” In Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies, ed. Houndmills, F. Stewart., UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 324.
Stewart, Frances, ed. 2008b. Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Stewart, Frances, Brown, Graham K., and Langer, Arnim. 2008. “Major Findings and Conclusions on the Relationship Between Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict.” In Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies, ed. Houndmills, F. Stewart., UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 285300.
Stewart, Frances, and Langer, Arnim. 2008. “Horizontal Inequalities: Explaining Persistence and Change.” In Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies, ed. Houndmills, F. Stewart., UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 5482.
Tajfel, Henri, and Turner, John C.. 1979. “An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Conflict.” In The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations, eds. Austin, W. G. and Worchel, S.. Monterey, CA: Brooks Cole, 766.
Tilly, Charles. 1978. From Mobilization to Revolution. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Tilly, Charles. 1999. Durable Inequality. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Turner, John C. 1981. “The Experimental Social Psychology of Intergroup Behaviour.” In Intergroup Behaviour, eds. Turner, J. C. and Giles, H.. Oxford: Blackwell, 66101.
Walter, Barbara F. 2006. “Building Reputation: Why Governments Fight Some Separatists but Not Others.” American Journal of Political Science 50 (2): 313–30.
Weede, Erich. 1987. “Some New Evidence on Correlates of Political Violence: Income Inequality, Regime Repressiveness, and Economic Development.” European Sociological Review 3 (2): 97108.
Weidmann, Nils B., Kuse, Doreen, and Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede. 2010. “The Geography of the International System: The CShapes Dataset.” International Interactions 36 (1): 86106.
Wood, Elisabeth Jean. 2003. Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Woodward, Susan L. 1995. Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution after the Cold War. Washington, DC: Brookings.
Wucherpfennig, Julian. 2011. “Bargaining, Power, and Ethnic Conflict.” ETH Zürich. Unpublished manuscript.
Wucherpfennig, Julian, Weidmann, Nils B., Girardin, Luc, Cederman, Lars-Erik, and Wimmer, Andreas. N.d. “Politically Relevant Ethnic Groups across Space and Time: Introducing the GeoEPR Dataset.” Conflict Management and Peace Science. Forthcoming.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Cederman et al. supplementary material
Appendix

 PDF (254 KB)
254 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Cederman et al. supplementary material
Data files

 Unknown (453 KB)
453 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed