Pathways to Violence: Dynamics for the Continuation of Large-scale Conflict

Hrag, Balian; Bearman, Peter Shawn

This article identifies why large-scale multisided civil conflict lasts for so long. The simple answer is that groups engaged in such conflicts have opportunities to achieve coveted ends like dominance and/or revenge by killing members of other groups. We focus on killing events and their temporal ordering rather than on rates. From this perspective, we identify how purely endogenous dynamics lead to conflict continuity and more unusually, conflict failure, or peace. The empirical case we consider is the Northern Ireland “Troubles,” 1969–2001.

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Sociological Theory

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Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics
Published Here
April 23, 2019


Keywords: events, networks, continuity, conflict