Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War


Cederman, Lars-Erik; Kristian Skrede Gleditsch & Halvard Buhaug (2013) Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics.

Publisher's website

​​​​This book argues that political and economic inequalities following group lines generate grievances that in turn can motivate civil war. Larks-Erik Cederman, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, and Halvard Buhaug offer a theoretical approach that highlights ethnonationalism and how the relationship between group identities and inequalities are fundamental for successful mobilization to resort to violence. Although previous research highlighted grievances as a key motivation for political violence, contemporary research on civil war has largely dismissed grievances as irrelevant, emphasizing instead the role of opportunities. This book shows that the alleged non-results for grievances in previous research stemmed primarily from atheoretical measures, typically based on individual data. The authors develop new indicators of political and economic exclusion at the group level, and show that these exert strong effects on the risk of civil war. They provide new analyses of the effects of transnational ethnic links and the duration of civil wars, and extended case discussions illustrating causal mechanisms.

Book of the Year Award to Cederman, Gleditsch and Buhaug

​​The book Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War, written by Lars-Erik Cederman, Kristian Skred​e Gleditsch and Halvard Buhaug, has been awarded the Conflict Research Society's Book of the Year Award 2014. ​​The book was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013 as a part of the Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics series, and argues that political and economic inequalities generate grievances that in turn can motivate civil war. 

Book of the Year award to Cederman, Gleditsch, and Buhaug

​​​​The American Political Science Association (APSA​) award for best book in conflict processes​ published during 2012-13 has been given to Ethnicity, Grievances, and Civil War(Cambridge University Press, 2013), coauthored by Lars-Erik Cederman (PRIO Global Fellow; ETH Zurich), Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (University of Essex and PRIO) and Halvard Buhaug (PRIO and NTNU). This is the third award given to this book in a matter of months, the other being the Conflict Research Society’s Book of the Year 2014 and the Network of European Peace Scientists’ NEPS Medal 2014. Congratulations!

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