Ethnic/Cultural Conflicts and Patterns of Violence


In most quantitative studies, ethnic conflict is treated as an event affecting an entire ethnic group. These studies fail to take into account large variations in the intensity of violence across group members, the group’s territory and over time. The key innovation of this project is to analyze how ethnic violence is organized within a group, and how its application develops over space and time. In doing so, the project relies on spatial agent-based simulation to develop spatial-temporal models of ethnic group mobilization, both in a national and a transnational setting. These models operate on real-world geographies and make it possible to incorporate findings from qualitative research, thus yielding a conceptually rich representation of reality. Furthermore, the project employs spatial-temporal statistics to test the impact of the determinants of violence on a larger set of cases. The conceptual innovation of disaggregating ethnic groups combined with these two novel methods improves our understanding of the how ethnic violence occurs. Ultimately, this will contribute to the development of better policies directed at the mitigation or prevention of violence. The fellow will work at PRIO, one of the premier peace and conflict research institutes in the world by publication record, specifically at the Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW) whichi is a designated national Centre of Excellence. PRIO's reputation with international organizations and governments as a source of research-based expertise regarding conflict resolution and peacebuilding ensures dissemination of the project's results to the policy community.
Year 2010

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