Publications by Year: 2016

Determinants of Regional Political Distinctiveness
Cartrite, Britt, and Dan Miodownik. 2016. “Determinants of Regional Political Distinctiveness.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 22 (2): 119-148. Full TextAbstract

Scholarly research exploring the phenomenon of regional distinctiveness in Europe, since at least the 1960s, has generated a variety of competing theories to explain the phenomenon, including the following: the persistence of linguistic distinctiveness; the impact of economic distinctiveness; and remoteness. Often these studies operationalize “regional distinctiveness” in different ways, impeding the evaluation of different types of theories against one another. This study develops a novel measure for regional distinctiveness, applied to 161 regions in 11 European countries from 1990–2014, and demonstrates that language, economics, and remoteness work through regional parties to generate regional political distinctiveness, while only linguistic distinctiveness also has a direct effect on such distinctiveness.

The Imperative to Explore the Impact of Disarmament on Peacemaking Efforts and Conflict Recurrence
Levine, Jamie, and Dan Miodownik. 2016. “The Imperative to Explore the Impact of Disarmament on Peacemaking Efforts and Conflict Recurrence.” Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy 22 (4): 347-356. Full ViewAbstract

There is today a well-established consensus that belligerents must be disarmed in order to reconstruct shattered states and establish a robust and durable peace in the wake of internal armed conflict. Indeed, nearly every UN peacekeeping intervention since the end of the Cold War has included disarmament provisions in its mandate. Disarmament is guided by the arrestingly simple premise that weapons cause conflict and, therefore, must be eradicated for a civil conflict to end. If the means by which combatants fight are eliminated, it is thought, actors will have little choice but to commit to peace. Disarmament is, therefore, considered a necessary condition for establishing the lasting conditions for peace. To date, however, no systematic quantitative analysis has been undertaken of the practice of disarmament and the causal mechanisms remain underspecified. This paper is a preliminary attempt to fill that gap. In it we outline a series of hypotheses with which to run future statistical analyses on the effects of disarmament programs. The success of negotiations and the durability of peace are, perhaps, the single most salient issues concerning those engaged in conflict termination efforts. We therefore focus the bulk of this paper on a review of the supposed effects of disarmament on negotiating outcomes and war recurrence.

The Legitimacy of Alien Rulers
Horne, Christine, Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom, Kyle Irwin, Dan Miodownik, and Michael Hechter. 2016. “The Legitimacy of Alien Rulers.” Swiss Political Science Review 22 (4): 454-469. Full ViewAbstract

In the modern world, alien rulers are generally perceived to lack legitimacy. Political legitimacy is important because it is thought to be the principal alternative to coercive institutions. Little empirical evidence supports these claims, however. We devise a laboratory experiment that isolates alienness from other ruler characteristics. The experiment tests whether alien rulers have less legitimacy than native rulers, and whether the ability to punish compensates for this disadvantage. Using American and Israeli college student samples, we find that alien rulers receive less compliance than native rulers, and that the ability to punish does not allow alien rulers to "catch-up" with native rulers.

Receptivity to Violence in Ethnically Divided Societies: A Micro-Level Mechanism of Perceived Horizontal Inequalities
Miodownik, Dan, and Lilach Nir. 2016. “Receptivity to Violence in Ethnically Divided Societies: A Micro-Level Mechanism of Perceived Horizontal Inequalities.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 39 (1): 22-45. Full ViewAbstract

Although past scholarship shows that group inequalities in economic and political power (“Horizontal Inequalities”) correlate with dissent, violence, and civil wars, there is no direct empirical test of the perceptual explanation for this relationship at the individual level. Such explanation is vital to understanding how integration, inclusion in power-sharing agreements, and exclusion from political power filter down to mass publics. Moreover, subjective perceptions of group conditions do not always correspond to objective group realities. We hypothesize subjective perceptions attenuate the effect of objective exclusion on support for violence in ethnically divided societies. Cross-national comparative multilevel analyses of the 2005/6 Afrobarometer dataset (N = 19,278) confirm that subjective perceptions both amplify the effect of exclusion on acceptance of violence and alter the readiness of included groups to dissent. These findings carry implications for research, state-building, and conflict management.

Youth bulge and civil war: Why a country’s share of young adults explains only non-ethnic wars
Yair, Omer, and Dan Miodownik. 2016. “Youth bulge and civil war: Why a country’s share of young adults explains only non-ethnic wars.” Conflict Management & Peace Science 33 (1): 25-44. Full TextAbstract

Scholars agree that young men carry out most acts of political violence. Still, there is no consensus on the link between relatively large youth cohorts and the onset of violent, armed intra-state conflicts. In this paper, we examine the effect of youth bulge, a measure of the relative abundance of youth in a country, on the onset of two different types of civil wars—ethnic and non-ethnic wars. Building on and extending three datasets used by other scholars, we theoretically argue and empirically substantiate that, as a result of the negative effects of youth bulge on the economic conditions of the youth cohorts in the country, youth bulge affects the onset of non-ethnic wars, but not the onset of ethnic wars. Possible implications and directions for further research are then suggested.