Macro-and micro-level theories of violence in ethnic and non-ethnic civil wars

Ravi Bhavnani*, Dan Miodownik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

In examining both macro-and micro-level approaches to the study of civil war, this chapter considers research in each of these traditions that both regards and disregards ethnicity as an essential explanation for violence. Given the voluminous literature on the subject, a select set of theories is reviewed. On the macro-side, we review: (i) opportunity-based arguments that address the causes of violence in non-ethnic civil wars; (ii) cross-national studies that evaluate the role of ethnicity using measures of fractionalization and polarization; and (iii) more recent configurational approaches that explicitly account for power differentials among politically relevant ethnic groups. On the micro-side, we review: (i) approaches that analyze the dynamics of rebel recruitment, retention, and support; (ii) arguments that highlight the role of information, monitoring, and control in the selective targeting of civilians; and (iii) disaggregated theories that explore the endogenous relationship between violence, ethnicity, and individual behavior. The chapter concludes with a brief review of existing macro-level datasets, as well as more recent efforts to build micro-level datasets that hold promise for bridging the macro-micro divide.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationWar
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction to Theories and Research on Collective Violence: Second Edition
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages141-154
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781634635783
ISBN (Print)9781634635707
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

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