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Partition as a Solution to Ethnic War: An Empirical Critique of the Theoretical Literature Dataset

Authors:Nicholas Sambanis
Report Number:WPS2208

Theorists of ethnic conflict have argued that the physical separation of warring ethnic groups may be the only possible solution to civil war. They argue that, without territorial partition and, if necessary, forced population movements, the war cannot end and genocide is likely. Other scholars have counter-argued that partition only replaces internal with international war, that it creates undemocratic successor states, and generates tremendous human suffering. This debate has so far been informed by few important case-studies. In this article, I use a new data-set on civil wars to identify the main determinants of war-related partitions and estimate their impact on democratization, on the probability of war-recurrence, and low-level ethnic violence. This is the first large-N quantitative analysis of this topic, testing the propositions of partition theory and weighing heavily on the side of its critics. The assertions of partition theorists fail to pass rigorous empirical tests. The paper also identifies the determinants of democratization after civil war, as well as the determinants of recurring ethnic violence. These empirical findings are used to formulate an alternative hypothesis about ending ethnic violence. This data set is a supplement to Nicholas Sambanis, "Partition as a Solution to
Ethnic War: An Empirical Critique of the Theoretical Literature."

Access to Dataset
  • Dependent variable and explanation (MS Excel file, 40kb)

  • Partition as a Solution to Ethnic War Appendix B (pdf file, 117kb)

  • Dataset (zipped STATA/dta file, 27kb)

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