Horizontal inequality and armed conflict: a comprehensive literature review

Journal article

Hillesund, Solveig; Karim Bahgat; Gray Barrett; Kendra Dupuy; Scott Gates; Håvard Mokleiv Nygård; Siri Aas Rustad; Håvard Strand; Henrik Urdal & Gudrun Østby (2018) Horizontal inequality and armed conflict: a comprehensive literature review, Canadian Journal of Development Studies 39 (4): 463–480.

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Investigation of whether, how, and why inequality influences the dynamics of violent conflict has a long intellectual history. Inequality between individuals and households (vertical inequality) has dominated the literature, but recently attention has shifted to the role of group-based inequalities in triggering violence. Our review of research on the relationship between conflict mobilisation and violence, and “horizontal inequality” (inequalities based on group identities such as ethnicity, region, and religion) reveals solid support for the argument that high levels of horizontal economic and political inequalities among the relatively deprived make violent conflict more likely.

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