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The inequality-conflict nexus re-examined: Income, education and popular rebellions

Bartusevičius, Henrikas (2014) 'The inequality-conflict nexus re-examined: Income, education and popular rebellions.' Journal of Peace Research, 51 (1). pp. 35-50. ISSN 0022-3433

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Abstract

The impact of inequality on the outbreak of intrastate armed conflicts or civil wars has recently attracted considerable interest in conflict research. In contrast to previous studies that have focused on inequality in the total population (vertical inequality), recent studies have analysed inequality between certain groups of people (horizontal inequality), and found that inequality significantly increases the likelihood of conflict onset. However, most of the recent studies on the inequality–conflict nexus have focused on conflicts fought between ethnic groups. The relation between inequality and other (non-ethnic) categories of conflicts has attracted less attention. The present study aims to address this gap: it implements a theoretical and empirical analysis of the relation between inequality and popular rebellions, a subset of conflicts where mobilization transcends ethnic boundaries and hostilities involve popular participation. Based on a sample of 77 popular rebellions and new global data on vertical inequality in income and education, this study shows that inequality significantly increases the likelihood of popular rebellion onset. In addition, the study reveals that inequality proxies (income and education Gini indices) outperform proxies of the absolute level of income (GDP per capita) in the model of popular rebellion onset, suggesting that it is relative, not absolute, well-being that ultimately motivates people to rise up in arms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: civil war onset; educational inequality; ethnic conflict; income inequality; non-ethnic conflict; popular rebellion;
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2015 11:12
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2015 11:12
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13803

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