Socioeconomic Inequalities and Attitudes toward Violence: A Test with New Survey Data in the Niger Delta

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Rustad, Siri Aas (2016) Socioeconomic Inequalities and Attitudes toward Violence: A Test with New Survey Data in the Niger Delta, International Interactions 42(1): 106–139.

​​​Although socioeconomic inequalities are assumed to increase the risk of conflict, the mechanisms behind how inequalities affect attitudes towardviolenceare poorly understood.The differences between individual (vertical) and group (horizontal) inequalities, and the role that perception of inequality plays, have not been investigated to any great extent due to limited data availability. Thisstudyaimsatprovidingabetterunderstandingoftheeffects of different kinds of inequality by testing new survey data collected in the Niger Delta. Using attitudes of acceptance of the use of violence as the dependent variable, the study compares the effects of horizontal and vertical inequalities and actual versus perceived inequalities. The effect of access to oil resources is also tested for horizontal inequalities (actual and perceived). The results show that both vertical and horizontal inequalities matter for the acceptance of violence. While relatively deprived individuals are more likely to support violence, among groups it is the relatively privileged. However, in oil regions, the more deprived groups are more likely to support violence. In general, perceived inequalities appear to be more important than actual inequalities.

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Authors

Siri Aas Rustad

Siri Aas Rustad

Senior Researcher