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A Two-Stage Approach to Civil Conflict: Contested Incompatibilities and Armed Violence

Bartusevicius, Henrikas and Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede (2019) 'A Two-Stage Approach to Civil Conflict: Contested Incompatibilities and Armed Violence.' International Organization, 73 (1). 225 - 248. ISSN 0020-8183

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We present a two-stage approach to civil conflict analysis. Unlike conventional approaches that focus only on armed conflict and treat all other cases as “at peace”, we first distinguish cases with and without contested incompatibilities (Stage 1) and then whether or not contested incompatibilities escalate to armed conflict (Stage 2). This allows us to isolate factors that contribute to conflict origination (onset of incompatibilities) and factors that promote conflict militarization (onset of armed violence). Using new data on incompatibilities and armed conflict, we replicate and extend three prior studies of violent civil conflict, reformulated as a two-stage process, considering a number of different estimation procedures and potential selection problems. We find that the group-based horizontal political inequalities highlighted in research on violent civil conflict clearly influence conflict origination but have no clear effect on militarization, whereas other features emphasized as shaping the risk of civil war, such as refugee flows and soft state power, strongly influence militarization but not incompatibilities. We posit that a two-stage approach to conflict analysis can help advance theories of civil conflict, assess alternative mechanisms through which explanatory variables are thought to influence conflict, and guide new data collection efforts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2017 15:25
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2020 15:15

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