CSCW Brownbag with Arnim Langer

Relationship between Objective and Subjective Horizontal Inequalities: Evidence from five African countries

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Monday, 31 October 2011 11:00-12:30

Please be invited to a brownbag on Monday 31st of October from 11:00-12:30, in the War Room. Arnim Langer will present the paper “Relationship between Objective and Subjective Horizontal Inequalities:  Evidence from five African countries.” Arnim Langer is Director at the Centre for Research on  Peace and Development at the University of Oxford
Abstract: In recent years an increasing amount of both qualitative and quantitative research has shown that the presence of severe inequalities between ‘culturally’ defined groups, such as ethnic or religious groups –or what Stewart (2002) has termed ‘horizontal inequalities’- makes countries more susceptible to a range of political disturbances, including violent conflict and civil war. Most quantitative studies that have found evidence in support of the relationship between the presence of horizontal inequalities and the emergence of violent conflicts have used an ‘objective’ measure of socio-economic horizontal inequality in their statistical models, such as a household asset index or a schooling inequality index rather than a measure of perceived inequalities. While the quantitative studies on horizontal inequalities and violent conflict have contributed enormously towards establishing the relationship between these two concepts, the operationalization of horizontal inequalities in objective terms is to some extent problematic because people act on the basis of their perceptions of the world they live in, and these perceptions may differ substantially from the ‘objective’ reality. The question to what extent objective and subjective horizontal inequalities are consistent in practice is an important empirical question, which this paper explores in five African countries: Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.