Master of Arts (MA)
The lack of consensus on the significance of ethnicity on civil conflict derives from the measures used, not from the concept’s lack of merit. Current measures, such as the ethno-linguistic fractionalization index (ELF), examine differences in demographics rather than how the diversity becomes politically relevant or when the diversity leads to conflict. By using Horowitz’s (1985) theory of ethnic voting and a measure for how closely a state’s political parties are aligned with ethnic groups, one can better assess how countries’ ethnic groups are politically organized and how this organization is associated with civil conflict. Using an original measure derived from Round 5 of the Afrobarometer indicating the extent to which a state’s political parties are aligned ethnically and the UCDP/ PRIO’s Armed Conflict Dataset, the following study finds that states with high levels of ethnic political parties are associated with an increased probability of civil conflict, while those states with a proportional legislative electoral system are associated with a decreased, though not statistically significant, probability of civil conflict.
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El Koubi, Erin Nicole, "Ethnic Political Parties and Civil Conflict" (2016). LSU Master's Theses. 1203.