Trends in low intensity ethnic conflict in democratic states in the post-cold war era: A large N study

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This study examines the influence of regime as well as the end of the Cold War on the intensity of ethnic conflict from 1985 to 1998 using data from the Minorities at Risk (MAR) dataset. The results show that nearly all violent ethnic conflicts are low intensity conflicts. However, different types of low intensity conflict are more common under different types of regimes. Terrorism is the most common form of ethnic conflict in democratic states and guerrilla warfare, and local rebellions are more common in autocratic states, but violent conflicts lasted longer in democracies. Ethnic conflict in those states that democratized between 1984 and 1994 exhibited properties similar to autocracies during the 1980s, but by the late 1990s ethnic conflict in these states was more similar to that in democracies. The end of the Cold War is associated with a temporary rise in ethnic conflict during the early 1990s in autocracies and democratizing states and a drop in ethnic conflict in democracies. Furthermore, there was no disproportional rise or fall in religious or civilizational conflict during this period, which questions Samuel Huntington's 'Clash of Civilizations' theory.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemocracies and Small Wars
PublisherFrank Cass and Company
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)0203485424, 9780203485422
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2003


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