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Group Grievances & Civil War: Some Theory and Empirics on Competing Mechanisms, 1990-2017

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posted on 19.07.2021, 20:54 by Indra de Soysa, Krishna Vadlamnnati, henning finseraas

Recent scholarship forcefully claims that group grievances due to political exclusion and discrimination drive civil wars. This perspective argues that socio-psychological factors allow groups to overcome collective action problems. We argue that the grievance perspective (over)focuses on the ends and not means, which are critical to explain how groups survive state repression, allowing contention to become civil wars. We suggest that inclusive economic governance reduces investment in state-evading infrastructures for quotidian economic reasons. Our analyses show that group-grievance-generating political factors are poorer predictors of civil war compared with economic freedoms measured as free-market friendly policies and the private ownership of economies. These results are robust to several alternative models, data, and estimating method. Theory that ignores the means explain the main causes of costly violence only partially or mistake symptom for cause. Freedom and inclusiveness are intrinsically valuable and hard to obtain when violence is waged for narrower ends.

History

Declaration of conflicts of interest

none

Corresponding author email

indra.de.soysa@ntnu.no

Lead author country

Norway

Lead author job role

Higher Education Faculty 4-yr College

Lead author institution

norwegian university of science and technology

Human Participants

No

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