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Unpacking Escalation


  • Alex Braithwaite

    (University College London)

  • Douglas Lemke

    (Pennsylvania State University)


Past studies vary widely in how they measure conflict escalation. The use of different measures of escalation is understandable because theories about escalation do not specify how the concept should be measured. But the use of different measures of escalation hinders cumulation. We contribute to the literature on conflict escalation by comparing a variety of measures of escalation. We demonstrate how few robust relationships there are across different measures of escalation. Importantly, though, we find a consistent influence of territory on escalatory processes which is insensitive to how escalation is measured.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Braithwaite & Douglas Lemke, 2011. "Unpacking Escalation," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 28(2), pages 111-123, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:28:y:2011:i:2:p:111-123

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