When Fighting Breaks Out – Explaining Subnational Variation in Civil War Onset

The Roper Report

Extremely interesting analysis of more precisely when, where, why, and how polarization and division tips into civil war.

Guest post by Ore Koren

Civil war onset is often correctly associated with weak states, such as Afghanistan. Many blame the failure of coalition forces to win the war in Afghanistan on the weakness of the central government (see, e.g., here, here, and here). Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and South Sudan, as well as some Latin Africa countries, further illustrate this view. But while weaker countries are susceptible to civil war, when we look for places within countries where violence will likely occur, this pattern reverses.  

In our study, to be published next month in ISQ, Anoop Sarbahi and I show that this state-centric approach misses a crucial part of the civil war puzzle: conflicts are more likely…

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Author: Alfred E. Neuman

71 year old geek, ultra-conservative patriot.