Education and Civil Conflict: A Review of the Quantitative, Empirical Literature

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Østby, Gudrun; & Urdal, Henrik (2010) Education and Civil Conflict: A Review of the Quantitative, Empirical Literature .

This paper provides a systematic review of the quantitative literature on education and political violence. It does not offer new theories or new empirical evidence on the effects of education on conflict, but it offers a perspective on the current state of the debate in the literature. We present the main theoretical propositions that feature in the existing education-conflict studies and examine more closely the empirical tests of these propositions, drawing mainly on thirty statistical studies, but also a few qualitative case studies. The empirical evidence presented herein should be highly relevant for policy-makers. As opposed to many other factors that are known to affect political violence, such as e.g. GDP per capita and mountainous terrain, education is indeed something that almost all governments can alter through national policy (Thyne, 2006).

Authors

Gudrun Østby

Gudrun Østby

Senior Researcher

Henrik Urdal

Henrik Urdal

Research Professor; Editor, Journal of Peace Research