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Tectonic Boundaries and Strongholds: The Religious Geography of Violence in Northern Ireland

  • Hannes Mueller
  • Dominic Rohner
  • David Schoenholzer

The conflict in Northern Ireland was an example of "complex warfare" with both insurgency and sectarian violence. We present a unified model that helps to identify these two forms of conflict from the spatial distribution of violence. The model predicts that tectonic boundaries between residential areas of opposed groups drive sectarian violence. Violence between the minority and state forces takes place in minority strongholds. We test the model with fine-grained data on religious composition and geo-referenced data on killings with detailed information on attackers and targets. We also show that sectarian violence can predict the placement of barriers (i.e. so-called "peace lines"). Finally, we analyze the effect of a troop surge in 1972 and the proximity to the Republic of Ireland on the two elements of the conflict.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 13.04.

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Length: 34 pp. + tables (total 40 pp.)
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:13.04
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  1. Berman, Nicolas & Couttenier, Mathieu, 2014. "External shocks, internal shots: the geography of civil conflicts," CEPR Discussion Papers 9895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "The Logic of Political Violence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1411-1445.
  3. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2009. "Estimating the peace dividend: the impact of violence on house prices in Northern Ireland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25427, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2007. "International commodity prices, growth and the outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Working Papers 1053, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2009.
  5. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2011. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8676, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Buhaug, Halvard & Cederman, Lars-Erik & Rød, Jan Ketil, 2008. "Disaggregating Ethno-Nationalist Civil Wars: A Dyadic Test of Exclusion Theory," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(03), pages 531-551, July.
  7. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  8. Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Reputation, Group Structure and Social Tensions," HiCN Working Papers 40, Households in Conflict Network.
  9. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2006. "Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2006-10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  11. Markus Bruckner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "International Commodities Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 1008, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "Cycles of Distrust: An Economic Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000502, David K. Levine.
  13. Ravi Bhavnani & Dan Miodownik & Hyun Jin Choi, 2011. "Three Two Tango: Territorial Control and Selective Violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(1), pages 133-158, February.
  14. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
  15. Eli Berman & Jacob N. Shapiro & Joseph H. Felter, 2011. "Can Hearts and Minds Be Bought? The Economics of Counterinsurgency in Iraq," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 766 - 819.
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