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Contagion processes of ethnic violence: Group inspiration and government strategic reaction

Beiser, J; (2016) Contagion processes of ethnic violence: Group inspiration and government strategic reaction. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Existing research has considered the effect of domestic unrest on repression and theeffect of repression on subsequent unrest. However, governments’ strategic incentivesto use repression as a targeted measure in order to prevent – as opposed to respond to– unrest altogether are understood little. This thesis analyses armed ethnic conflict aswell as government repression targeted at ethnic groups in order to prevent them fromrebelling. More specifically, this thesis consists of three parts. The first part analysesthe effect of information about foreign conflicts on the likelihood of domestic conflict.Here, the argument is that information about foreign conflicts that is transmitted viamass media can inspire groups with similar grievances like the foreign group in conflictto take up arms. This argument is tested empirically in a large-n study on thecountry level. The second part analyses the concept of repression as a pre-emptivestrategy. In this part I argue that governments use group-specific repression to strikea perfect balance between domestic ethnic groups’ costs and benefits for fighting inorder to prevent them from taking up arms in the most efficient way. Quantitative dataon group-specific repression levels is used to empirically test this argument. The thirdpart analyses government reactions to information about foreign conflicts transmittedvia mass media in order to prevent domestic unrest. I argue here that governmentsare aware of the mechanism discussed in the first part and use repression in order toprevent conflict contagion altogether. Again, this argument is tested empirically usinggroup-level repression data.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Contagion processes of ethnic violence: Group inspiration and government strategic reaction
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474206
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