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Disarming fears of diversity : ethnic heterogeneity and state militarization, 1988-2002

  • de Soysa, Indra
  • Neumayer, Eric

The authors address the question of state militarization under conditions of ethnic and other diversity."Primordialist"claims about ancient hatreds, fear, and insecurity in such societies would lead one to expect that fractionalization, polarization, and ethno-nationalist exclusion would prompt governments to militarize heavily. But contrary to such expectations, the authors find that higher levels of ethnic diversity predict lower levels of militarization, whereas higher polarization and ethno-nationalist exclusion trigger neither lower nor higher levels of militarization. If fractionalization lowers the hazard of civil war, as many find, then it does not happen by way of a"garrison state"effect. The authors discuss two potential explanations for their findings, one drawing from the empirical conflict literature, the other stemming from economists'study of public goods provision under conditions of diversity. They argue that their findings are best seen as consistent with and complementary to the empirical literature on conflict onset and duration.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4221.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4221
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  1. Tanja Ellingsen, 2000. "Colorful Community or Ethnic Witches' Brew?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(2), pages 228-249, April.
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  7. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Military Expenditure in Post-Conflict Societies," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  9. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  10. Easterly, William, 2001. "Can Institutions Resolve Ethnic Conflict?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 687-706, July.
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  13. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/229724, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
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  17. Alesina, Alberto, 1992. "Political models of macroeconomic policy and fiscal reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 970, The World Bank.
  18. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Polarization, politics, and property rights : links between inequality and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2418, The World Bank.
  19. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2002. "Military expenditure - threats, aid, and arms races," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2927, The World Bank.
  20. Nicholas Sambanis, 2001. "Do Ethnic and Nonethnic Civil Wars Have the Same Causes?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 45(3), pages 259-282, June.
  21. Gupta, Sanjeev & de Mello, Luiz & Sharan, Raju, 2001. "Corruption and military spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 749-777, November.
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  26. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
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