Religion and Civil Conflict

Led by Ragnhild Nordås
Jan 2005 - Mar 2010


This PhD-project (political science, NTNU - thesis advisors Ola Listhaug NTNU/CSCW and Scott Gates CSCW/NTNU) bridges two important trends in the conflict literature: renewed attention to the religious factor, and a greater emphasis on local factors in accounting for armed conflict. Religion is in the glare of public attention, and students of violent conflict have recently gained a renewed interest in the religious factor. Another recent trend in the conflict literature has been to point out theoretical and empirical problems of using country-level indicators to understand phenomena at the local level. Disaggregating the study of conflicts – focusing on the local-level parameters – can yield new insights into the mechanisms of organized violence. The project will highlight how religion can potentially lead to violent conflict.

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