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Ethnic polarization and the duration of civil wars, Volume 1
 
Author:Montalvo, Jose G.; Reynal-Querol, Marta; Country:World;
Date Stored:2007/04/09Document Date:2007/04/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Post Conflict Reintegration; Social Conflict and Violence; Peace & Peacekeeping; Population Policies; Services & Transfers to Poor
Language:EnglishRegion:The World Region
Report Number:WPS4192Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 4192Post-Conflict Transitions working paper ; no. PC 6
Volume No:1  

Summary: The authors analyze the relationship between ethnic polarization and the duration of civil wars. Several recent papers have argued that the uncertainty about the relative power of the contenders in a war will tend to increase its duration. In these models, uncertainty is directly related to the relative size of the contenders. The authors argue that the duration of civil wars increases the more polarized a society is. Uncertainty is not necessarily linked to the structure of the population but it could be traced back to the measurement of the size of the different groups in the society. Given a specific level of measurement error or uncertainty, more polarization implies lengthier wars. The empirical results show that ethnically polarized countries have to endure longer civil wars than ethnically less polarized societies.

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