Taking grievance seriously: public goods provision and the incidence of civil violence
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Drawing on the literature on the incidence of civil conflict, I argue that the supply of political and socio-economic goods significantly determines both the onset and the recurrence of civil violence. The two sets of large N analysis (1946-2008) and case studies on Tibet and Somalia/Somaliland lend good credence to my main hypotheses. In particular, both political and socio-economic goods significantly reduce the risk of civil conflict, whereas political goods exert stronger impacts upon civil violence than socio-economic goods. Additionally, civil conflict is mostly a domestic process. Given that ethnic conflict tends to result from horizontal equality, it is more likely to be dampened by more types of public goods relative to non-ethnic conflict. This research challenges the widely acknowledged wisdom that grievance is too hollow and common to explain the outbreak of civil conflict. Moreover, public goods provision both bridges civil war onset and relapse, and sets up a research agenda which will greatly contribute to the growth of knowledge on civil violence.
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