Disarming Fears of Diversity: Ethnic Heterogeneity and State Militarization, 1988-2002

Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2008

33 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2005 Last revised: 8 Mar 2009

See all articles by Indra De Soysa

Indra De Soysa

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 1, 2006

Abstract

We 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. However, contrary to such expectations, we find that higher levels of ethnic diversity predict lower levels of militarisation, 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 via a garrison state effect. We discuss two potential explanations for our findings, one drawing from the empirical conflict literature, the other stemming from economists' study of public goods provision under conditions of diversity. We argue that our findings are best seen as consistent with and complementary to the empirical literature on conflict onset and duration.

Suggested Citation

De Soysa, Indra and Neumayer, Eric, Disarming Fears of Diversity: Ethnic Heterogeneity and State Militarization, 1988-2002 (May 1, 2006). Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=691305

Indra De Soysa

Norwegian University of Science and Technology ( email )

Trondheim NO-7491
Norway

Eric Neumayer (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

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