The Consequences of Contention: Understanding the Aftereffects of Political Conflict and Violence
Posted: 28 May 2019
Date Written: May 2019
What are the political and economic consequences of contention (i.e., genocide, civil war, state repression/human rights violation, terrorism, and protest)? Despite a significant amount of interest as well as quantitative research, the literature on this subject remains underdeveloped and imbalanced across topic areas. To date, investigations have been focused on particular forms of contention and specific consequences. While this research has led to some important insights, substantial limitations—as well as opportunities for future development—remain. In particular, there is a need for simultaneously investigating a wider range of consequences (beyond democracy and economic development), a wider range of contentious activity (beyond civil war, protest, and terrorism), a wider range of units of analysis (beyond the nation year), and a wider range of empirical approaches in order to handle particular difficulties confronting this type of inquiry (beyond ordinary least-squares regression). Only then will we have a better and more comprehensive understanding of what contention does and does not do politically and economically. This review takes stock of existing research and lays out an approach for looking at the problem using a more comprehensive perspective.
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