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Rationalising ‘'Irrational'' Support for Political Violence

  • Colin Jennings

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

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.

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File URL: http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/departments/economics/researchdiscussionpapers/2012/12-12-Final.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1212.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published
Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1212
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  1. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  2. Alan B. Krueger, 2009. "Attitudes and Action: Public Opinion and the Occurrence of International Terrorism," Working Papers 1100, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Jennings, Colin, 2008. "Intra-Group Competition and Inter-Group Conflict: An Application to Northern Ireland," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-30, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  6. Powell, Robert, 2006. "War as a Commitment Problem," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 169-203, January.
  7. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  8. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  9. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  10. Cetinyan, Rupen, 2002. "Ethnic Bargaining in the Shadow of Third-Party Intervention," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 645-677, June.
  11. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2007. "Leadership and conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 49-68, September.
  12. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2009. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-41, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  13. Jitka Maleckova & Dragana Stanisic, 2010. "Public Opinion and Terrorist Acts," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 32, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  14. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  16. Bernholz, Peter, 2004. "Supreme values as the basis for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 317-333, June.
  17. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2000. "Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 845-877, September.
  18. Eran Halperin & Daniel Bar-Tal, 2011. "Socio-psychological barriers to peace making: An empirical examination within the Israeli Jewish Society," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(5), pages 637-651, September.
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