The Relevance of Ideology to Contemporary Armed Conflicts: A Quantitative Analysis of Former Combatants in Colombia

Journal of Conflict Resolution, Forthcoming

53 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2013

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

This article counters claims that ideology lacks relevance to contemporary armed conflicts, especially when economic factors play an important role. Focusing on the case of Colombia, the authors utilize logistic regression analysis to test whether ideology allows one to distinguish between different armed groups and whether a combatant’s level of agreement with his or her armed group is related to affinity for that group’s ideology. The high degree of collinearity between three indicators of ideology — discourse, attitudes, and emotional responses — and their similar explanatory power support the article’s conceptual proposal of viewing them as different dimensions of the same phenomenon. The authors find that ideology continues to play a role in the internal dynamics of Colombian armed groups and that a combatant’s ideological development is influenced not only by pre-enlistment experiences, but also participation in a particular group. Future research should not ignore ideology as important contemporary armed conflicts.

Suggested Citation

Ugarriza, Juan and Craig, Matthew, The Relevance of Ideology to Contemporary Armed Conflicts: A Quantitative Analysis of Former Combatants in Colombia (November 2012). Journal of Conflict Resolution, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2343414

Juan Ugarriza (Contact Author)

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC
Colombia

Matthew Craig

Independent ( email )

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