Disarming Fears of Diversity: Ethnic Heterogeneity and State Militarization, 1988-2002
Indra De Soysa
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
May 1, 2007
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4221
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 agarrison stateeffect. 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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Peace & Peacekeeping, Population Policies, Social Conflict and Violence, Post Conflict Reintegration, Inequality
Date posted: April 29, 2007
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