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Violence and Displacement in Civil War. Evidence from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

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  • Laia Balcells

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between violence and displacement during civil war focusing on two different forms of population movements (i.e. incoming and outgoing), and two different forms of violence (i.e. direct and indirect). The paper explores the relationship between displacement and violence at the local level in the context of a civil war fought conventionally using fine-grained data from 1,062 municipalities of the region of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War (1936- 1939). First, the paper suggests that exogenous and endogenous to the war factors combine to generate patterns of resettlement. Second, the evidence indicates that, in a civil war context, refugee flows and violence are interrelated in multiple ways: the arrival of internal refugees in a locality promotes the perpetration of direct violence against civilians; this, in turn, triggers the departure of people from the locality when the other group approaches. Third, indirect violence (i.e. bombings) shows to be the most significant factor accounting for external displacement at the local level, suggesting that bombing can serve as a strong signal for civilians of the type of armed group they are facing. Finally, the Spanish case suggests that the demographic changes provoked by displacement, combined with the lethality of the conflict, are likely to have long- term political consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Laia Balcells, 2012. "Violence and Displacement in Civil War. Evidence from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)," Working Papers 603, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:603
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    File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/603.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2015. "Strategic Mass Killings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(5), pages 1087-1132.
    2. Abbey Steele, 2011. "Electing Displacement: Political Cleansing in Apartadó, Colombia," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(3), pages 423-445, June.
    3. Laia Balcells, 2011. "Continuation of Politics by Two Means: Direct and Indirect Violence in Civil War," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(3), pages 397-422, June.
    4. Jason Lyall, 2009. "Does Indiscriminate Violence Incite Insurgent Attacks?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 53(3), pages 331-362, June.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:104:y:2010:i:03:p:415-429_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Ana María Ibá-ez, 2014. "Growth in forced displacement: cross-country, sub-national and household evidence on potential determinants," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 13, pages 350-387 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Laia Balcells & Abbey Steele, 2012. "Warfare, Political Identities, and Displacement in Spain and Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 124, Households in Conflict Network.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil War; violence; displacement; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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