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Rationalising ‘'Irrational'' Support for Political Violence

Author

Listed:
  • Colin Jennings

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

Abstract

This paper provides a rationale for group support for political violence when violence does not provide a material beneÂ…fit. A theory of fairness is adopted to demonstrate that although group violence may not be the equilibrium of a material game it may be a fairness equilibrium in a game containing psychological payoffs. For this to happen the material stakes must be perceived as low and psychological payoffs are expressive. Although the material stakes are actually high, members of each group may choose expressively to support the use of violence because the probability of being decisive is low. The paper also considers the possibility of peace emerging as a fairness equilibrium. This can only happen if each group perceives the other as making some sacrfiÂ…ce in choosing peace.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Jennings, 2012. "Rationalising ‘'Irrational'' Support for Political Violence," Working Papers 1212, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1212
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    File URL: http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/1newwebsite/departmentsubject/economics/research/researchdiscussionpapers/2012/12-12-Final.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    confl‡ict; emotions; reciprocity; expressive;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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