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Title:Not my brother's keeper: How ethnic violence causes infighting
Author(s):Arackal, Sheena
Director of Research:Leff, Carol S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Leff, Carol S.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Diehl, Paul F.; Vasquez, John A.; Bowers, Jake; Svolik, Milan
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Ethnic Violence
Infighting
Ethnic Conflict
Ethnicity
Abstract:Why, during an ethnic conflict, would an ethnic group turn its weapons against itself? That is the question that motivates this dissertation. Such behavior is puzzling because as an ethnic group devotes valuable time, energy, and resources on an intra-group conflict, it reduces the total amount of resources the group can draw on to wage the ethnic conflict. Unfortunately, the ethnic conflict literature provides few answers to the puzzle of infighting during ethnic conflict because the ethnic conflict literature generally assumes that ethnic violence increases ethnic cohesion. I examine that assumption in detail, and find it both theoretically and empirically flawed. Instead, I argue that both at the factional level and at the individual level, ethnic violence creates incentives and opportunities for fragmentation, and the ethnic leadership then engages in infighting to counter this pressure. I test the theory using both large-n statistical analyses, as well as process tracing and case studies. Both empirical analyses provide evidence to support the theory, challenging the claim that ethnic violence increases ethnic cohesion. Ultimately, I conclude that infighting during ethnic conflict is the irrational macro-level outcome of rational micro-level choices.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/49512
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Sheena A. Arackal
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05


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