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Inequality and conflict in federations

Author

Listed:
  • Christa Deiwiks

    (International Conflict Research, ETH Zurich)

  • Lars-Erik Cederman

    (International Conflict Research, ETH Zurich)

  • Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

    (University of Essex & Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO)

Abstract

Case study evidence suggests that inequality between regions in federations affects the risk of secessionist conflict. However, the conventional quantitative literature on civil war has found little support for a link between economic inequality and civil war. We argue that this seeming discrepancy in part stems from differences in the conceptualization of inequality and its operationalization, which has focused on individual-level wealth differences. In contrast, we investigate regional-level inequality, which is more readily applicable to understanding possible incentives for internal conflict. We adopt a spatial approach, based on new geo-coded data on administrative units in 31 federal states between 1991 and 2005, economic wealth, and ethnic settlements, and demonstrate strong evidence that regional inequality affects the risk of secessionist conflict. The results indicate that in highly unequal federations, both relatively developed and underdeveloped regions are indeed more likely to be involved in secessionist conflict than regions close to the country average. In addition, we provide evidence that exclusion from central state power as well as ethnic groups’ access to regional institutions are associated with an increased risk for secessionist conflict. The findings on inequality remain robust even when controlling for other confounding factors such as country GDP, population and war history.

Suggested Citation

  • Christa Deiwiks & Lars-Erik Cederman & Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, 2012. "Inequality and conflict in federations," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(2), pages 289-304, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:2:p:289-304
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gluschenko, Konstantin, 2015. "‘Williamson’s Fallacy’ in Estimation of Inter-Regional Inequality," MPRA Paper 71075, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 May 2016.
    2. Lessmann, Christian, 2013. "Foreign direct investment and regional inequality: A panel data analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 129-149.
    3. Christian Lessmann, 2016. "Regional Inequality and Internal Conflict," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 157-191, May.
    4. Lessmann, Christian & Seidel, André, 2017. "Regional inequality, convergence, and its determinants – A view from outer space," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 110-132.
    5. Georg Hirte & Christian Leßmann, 2014. "Trade, Integration, and Interregional Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 4799, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:3:p:622-643 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hadia Majid & Rashid Memon, 2016. "Group inequality and regional development: Evidence from Pakistan: Evidence from Pakistan," WIDER Working Paper Series 151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Roberto Ezcurra & Beatriz Manotas, 2015. "Does globalization promote civil war? An empirical research," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 1501, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
    9. Lessmann, Christian, 2014. "Spatial inequality and development — Is there an inverted-U relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 35-51.
    10. Lessmann, Christian, 2014. "Spatial inequality and development — Is there an inverted-U relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 35-51.
    11. John Anyanwu & Andrew E. O. Erhijakpor, 2013. "Working Paper 184 - Does Oil Wealth Affect Democracy in Africa?," Working Paper Series 988, African Development Bank.
    12. Kalenborn, Christine & Lessmann, Christian, 2014. "Regional Income Inequality lowers Life Satisfaction: Evidence from OECD Countries," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100561, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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