Publications by Year: 2011

2011
Ethnic Minority Rule and Civil War Onset How Identity Salience, Fiscal Policy, and Natural Resource Profiles Moderate Outcomes
Miodownik, Dan, and Ravi Bhavnani. 2011. “Ethnic Minority Rule and Civil War Onset How Identity Salience, Fiscal Policy, and Natural Resource Profiles Moderate Outcomes.” CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND PEACE SCIENCE 28: 438-458. Full TextAbstract

Using an agent-based computational framework designed to explore the incidence of conflict between two nominally rival ethnic groups, we demonstrate that the impact of ethnic minority rule on civil war onset could be more nuanced than posited in the literature. By testing the effects of three key moderating variables on ethnic minority rule, our analysis demonstrates that: (i) when ethnicity is assumed to be salient for all individuals, conflict onset increases with size of the minority in power, although when salience is permitted to vary, onset decreases as minority and majority approach parity; (ii) fiscal policy-the spending and investment decisions of the minority EGIP-moderates conflict; conflict decreases when leaders make sound decisions, increases under corrupt regimes, and peaks under ethno-nationalist regimes that place a premium on territorial conquest; and lastly (iii) natural resources-their type and distribution-affect the level of conflict which is lowest in agrarian economies, higher in the presence of lootable resources, and still higher when lootable resource are ``diffuse''. Our analysis generates a set of propositions to be tested empirically, subject to data availability.

Macro- and micro-level theories of violence in ethnic and non-ethnic civil wars
Bhavnani, Ravi, and Dan Miodownik. 2011. “Macro- and micro-level theories of violence in ethnic and non-ethnic civil wars.” War: An Introduction to Theories and Research on Collective Violence, 105-118, 105-118. Full TextAbstract

In examining both macro- and micro-level approaches to the study of civil war, this chapter considers scholarship in each of these traditions that either regards or disregards ethnicity as an essential explanation for violence. Given the voluminous literature on the subject, a select set of theories is reviewed: opportunity-based aggregate level arguments which address the causes of violence in non-ethnic civil wars; cross-national studies that evaluate the role of ethnicity using measures of fractionalization and polarization, as well as more recent configurational approaches that explicitly account for power differentials among politically relevant ethnic groups; micro-level approaches that analyze the dynamics of rebel recruitment, retention, and support, as well as the role that information, monitoring, and control play in the selective targeting of civilians; and disaggregated theories that explore the endogenous relationship between violence, ethnicity, and individual behavior. The chapter concludes with a brief review of existing macro-level datasets, as well as more recent efforts to build micro-level datasets that hold promise for bridging the macro-micro divide. © 2011 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Three Two Tango: Territorial Control and Selective Violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
Bhavnani, Ravi, Dan Miodownik, and Hyun Jin Choi. 2011. “Three Two Tango: Territorial Control and Selective Violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.” JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION 55: 133-158. Full TextAbstract

This article extends the formal logic of Stathis Kalyvas' theory of selective violence to account for three political actors with asymmetric capabilities. In contrast to Kalyvas' theory, the authors' computer simulation suggests that (1) selective violence by the stronger actor will be concentrated in areas where weaker actors exercise control; (2) the relative level of selective violence used by weaker actors will be lower because of a reduced capacity to induce civilian collaboration; and (3) areas of parity among the three actors will exhibit low levels of selective violence perpetrated primarily by the strongest actor. Results from a logistic regression, using empirical data on Israel and two rival Palestinian factions from 2006 to 2008, are consistent with these predictions: Israel was more likely to use selective violence in areas largely controlled by Palestinian factions; zones of incomplete Israeli control were not prone to selective violence; and zones of mixed control witnessed moderate levels of selective violence, mainly by Israel. Nonetheless, Palestinian violence remained consistent with Kalyvas' predictions.

Violence and Control in Civil Conflict Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
Bhavnani, Ravi, Dan Miodownik, and Hyun Fin Choi. 2011. “Violence and Control in Civil Conflict Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.” COMPARATIVE POLITICS 44: 61+. Full TextAbstract

What explains the use of selective and indiscriminate violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza from 1987 to 2005? Using micro-level data, an aggregated analysis indicates that areas of dominant but incomplete territorial control consistently experience more frequent and intense episodes of selective violence, providing support for Stathis Kalyvas's theory on the logic of civil violence. Disaggregating the analysis by each zone of control and perpetrator, however, offers only mixed empirical support for Kalyvas's predictions. While Palestinian-perpetrated violence is still consistent with theoretical expectations, Israel more frequently resorts to the use of selective violence where Palestinians exercise greater control. Such disconfirming evidence points to causal mechanisms previously unaccounted for and contributes to a more nuanced specification of the microfoundations of violence in civil conflict.