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Explaining the onset of mass killing, 1949-87

Author

Listed:
  • Frank W. Wayman

    () (Department of Social Sciences, University of Michigan-Dearborn)

  • Atsushi Tago

    (Graduate School of Law, Kobe University)

Abstract

This article aims to demonstrate that differences in the two major datasets can significantly affect the results of predictions of mass political killing. Mass political killing (such as Hitler's killing of some six million Jews, or the Rwanda genocide of 1994) has been studied for decades with the aid of valuable datasets measuring 'democide' and 'genocide and politicide', respectively. Without attempting to take sides as to whether one or the other is a more valid measure of the phenomenon of mass political killing, the authors aim in this investigation to see what independent variables best account for the onset of mass political killing, with the state-year as the unit of analysis. The predictor variables are level of economic development; types of war and violent unrest short of war; and regime type. By using a Cox proportional hazard model, the authors find that important regime effects either appear or disappear depending on the dataset used, with regime generally having a significant effect on onset of democide, but not having a significant effect on onset of geno-politicide. It is important for the scholarly community to be aware of these dataset effects, which may be the source of some of the most important existing controversies in the literature on explaining mass political killing.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank W. Wayman & Atsushi Tago, 2010. "Explaining the onset of mass killing, 1949-87," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(1), pages 3-13, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:47:y:2010:i:1:p:3-13
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    Cited by:

    1. Frances Stewart, 2011. "Economic and Political Causes of Genocidal Violence: A comparison with findings on the causes of civil war," Research Working Papers 46, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
    2. McDoom, Omar, 2012. "Predicting Violence within Genocides: Meso-level Evidence from Rwanda," WIDER Working Paper Series 106, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Anderton Charles H. & Carter John R., 2015. "A New Look at Weak State Conditions and Genocide Risk," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(1), pages 1-36, January.
    4. Exenberger Andreas & Pondorfer Andreas, 2013. "Climate Change and the Risk of Mass Violence: Africa in the 21st Century," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 381-392, December.

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