Ethnic Polarization and the Duration of Civil Wars

31 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Marta Reynal-Querol

Marta Reynal-Querol

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

Jose G. Montalvo

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Date Written: April 1, 2007

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Social Conflict and Violence, Population Policies, Peace & Peacekeeping, Post Conflict Reintegration, Services & Transfers to Poor

Suggested Citation

Reynal-Querol, Marta and Reynal-Querol, Marta and Montalvo, Jose G., Ethnic Polarization and the Duration of Civil Wars (April 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4192, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=979664

Marta Reynal-Querol (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

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Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

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Jose G. Montalvo

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Spain

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