Inter-Group Dynamics and the Geography of Civil War (post-doc)

Led by Halvard Buhaug
Jan 2006 - Dec 2008

This project expands on my doctoral project by assessing the geography of civil war in a wider setting. Of prime interest is to investigate how geographic and demographic group characteristics influence the likelihood and duration of dyadic ethnic conflict. In earlier work, I show that the location of a conflict zone relative to the capital is correlated with the duration and geographic magnitude of the conflict, and that certain geographic attributes (distance to capital and border, population density, level of marginalization) contribute to explaining why some regions are particularly exposed to separatist conflicts whereas others are more likely to host revolutionary wars. Parts of this work will be conducted in collaboration with researhers at ETH Zurich.

The project also plans to include a study of post-conflict recovery where the role of certain geographic aspects of conflict (relative location, geographic extent) is compared with traditional explanations. Common wisdom holds that countries having undergone severe civil wars (in terms of duration and intensity) recover more slowly than countries with brief episodes of conflict. The influence of geography in this context, however, is little understood.

This project shares commonalities and outputs with the GROW-Net project (#14911).



Non-refereed Journal Article

(2007) The Future Is More than Scale: A Reply to Diehl and O'Lear, Geopolitics 12(1): 192–199.


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