The “Ambivalence of the Sacred” in Africa: The Impact of Religion on Peace and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa
Given the widespread focus on socioeconomic factors, it comes as no surprise that religion is neglected in most theoretical explanations of African civil conflicts. While scholarly interest is increasing in light of the civil wars in Sudan, Nigeria, and northern Uganda, no systematic empirical analysis has been undertaken to date. Hence, this paper aims to provide a preliminary assessment of the role of religions in sub-Saharan civil conflicts. Quantitative and qualitative analysis based on a newly compiled database including 28 violent conflicts show that religion plays a role more frequently than is usually assumed and that the effects of religions are principally ambiguous. Religious actors and institutions have escalating effects in many cases, yet more often they become active for peace. Religious identities and ideas seem to have a particular impact on conflict. Even though religion seems secondary when compared to classical “risk factors,” the findings demonstrate that religious factors have to be taken seriously when analyzing civil conflicts in Africa.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, D-20354 Hamburg|
Phone: +49 (0)40 42825-593
Fax: +49 (0)40 42825-547
Web page: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/workingpapers
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rudolph J. Rummel, 1997. "Is Collective Violence Correlated with Social Pluralism?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 34(2), pages 163-175, May.
- Tanja Ellingsen, 2000. "Colorful Community or Ethnic Witches' Brew?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(2), pages 228-249, April.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000.
"Greed and grievance in civil war,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2355, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:70. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bert Hoffmann)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.