James D. Fearon David D. Laitin Stanford University 1. Introduction Ethnic diversity, if one compares countries at similar levels of economic development, is not significantly associated with a higher risk of civil war (Fearon and Laitin 2003). Even so, ethnic civil wars have been quite common. In most civil wars since 1945, rebel groups have explicitly advocated on behalf of an ethnic or religious group, or they have mobilized and recruited principally along the lines of an ethnic cleavage. From our list of 139 civil wars between 1945 and 2008, we code 79, or 57 as ethnic in this sense, and another 24 (17) as mixed or ambiguously ethnic. Moreover, the prevalence of ethnic civil wars has been increasing over time. Fifty-three percent of the 17 civil wars we code as breaking out in the years 1945-49 were ethnic. For the next six decades, the corresponding percentages are 74, 71, 67, 81, 83, and 100 (for 2000-08). These ethnic civil wars are themselves heterogeneous. A surprising number, however, exhibit a set of common features and dynamics that have been missed in the recent literature on civil war and ethnic conflict. In 32 of the civil wars in our list about 31 of the ethnic civil wars the spark for the war is violence between members of a regional ethnic group that considers itself to be the indigenous sons-of-the-soil and recent migrants from other parts of the country. The migrants are typically members of the dominant ethnic group who have come in search of land or government jobs. In many cases the state actively supports this migration with economic incentives and development schemes (occasionally funded by the World Bank or other international development agencies). We show that these conflicts have occurred mainly in Asia and in large countries, are remarkably persistent and long-running on average, and tend to be low level in terms of fatalities. Of greater interest, we find evidence that there is a fairly common sequence of actions and reactions that produces civil wars of this sort. The violence often begins with attacks between gangs of young men from each side, or in pogroms or riots following on rumors of abuse (rapes, thefts, insults) or protests by indigenous against the migrants. State forces then intervene, often siding with the migrants, and often being indiscriminate in retribution and repression against members of the indigenous group. In a few cases, the state intervenes on the side of the indigenous minority. Despite the intense grievances this can cause on the migrant side, escalation to civil war does not follow, because the migrants are less likely to pursue rebellion, for reasons we discuss. We also discuss factors influencing the states choice of whom to support, and speculate on reasons why these costly conflicts are not avoided by negotiated settlements between the state, migrants and indigenous. On the latter, we suggest that because migration will change the balance of power in the region, and because the state often cannot credibly commit to restrict migration in the future, Coasian deals that would pay off the locals or limit migration are hard to reach and implement. Myron Weiner more than thirty years ago recognized the potentially explosive situation stemming from clashes between migrant and indigenous populations, in his classic Sons of the Soil. In a broader sense, it is evident that some of the worst ethnic violence in the last several centuries has involved the annihilation of indigenous groups by ethnically distinct settlers bearing guns, germs, and steel (Diamond 1997, Mann 2005). Nonetheless, in the recent cross-national, micro-level, and case study literatures on civil war, sons-of-the-soil dynamics and their frequency have been largely missed. An example is the relatively well-studied war in Sri Lanka between the Sinhalese-dominated state and the Tamil Tigers. We argue below that the standard narrative of this case misses the central importance of...
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Henehan (2001) Territorial Disputes and the Probability of War, 18161992, Journal of Peace Research 38(2) 123-38 Walter, Barbara (2006) Building Reputation Why Government Fight Some Separatists But Not Others. American Journal of Political Science 50(2) 313-30 Weidmann, Nils B. (2009) Geography as Motivation and Opportunity Group Concentration and Ethnic Conflict, Journal of Conflict Resolution 53, 4 (August) 526-43. Weiner, Myron (1978) Sons of the Soil (Princeton Princeton University Press) These data are based on an updated version of the civil war list 1945-2005 used in Fearon and Laitin (2003). We use both ethnic and mixed or ambiguously ethnic for these percentages the trend is the same if attention is restricted to ethnic only. See Fearon and Laitin (2003) for definitional criteria the lethality thresholds for inclusion are 1000 killed over the course of the conflict, with an average of at least 100 per year, and with at least 100 killed on both (or all sides). The coding of SoS conflicts revises and updates the coding used in Fearon (2004, 283), where the following criteria were used an SoS civil war involves an insurgent band fighting on behalf of an ethnic minority on the periphery of a state dominated by another ethnic group against the states military or paramilitary formations, and/or members of the majority group who have settled as farmers in the minority groups declared home area and involves either land conflict with migrants from the dominant group or conflict over profits and control of fuel or mineral resources in the minoritys home area. For the present study, we limit SoS conflicts to those where migration is an issue, so we exclude conflicts where the locals are protesting natural resource exploitation by the center and there is no competition arising from in-migration of another group. We also expand the definition to include cases where the competition is over things beside farm land. Nonetheless, it should be noted in the large majority of cases the competition is mainly over land, and that there are only a handful of natural resource cases that dont involve migration issues as well. This region has seen some, and possibly many, other SoS conflicts that have not reached civil war violence thresholds or otherwise met our civil war criteria for example, the Kalenjin-Kikuyu conflict in the Rift Valley of Kenya, the anti-Ibo riots in northern Nigeria in 1966, and, possibly, some conflicts in northern Ghana involving Konkomba. Bates (2008) argues that land conflict between locals and land hungry migrants has been increasingly common in Africa, and that it is an important factor in the collapse of political order in many states in this region. Vietnam and Laos have the same configuration and have had some minor SoS conflicts, but nothing at the level of civil war by our coding. That is, log of population in 1995 (or earlier years) is strongly significant in a logit predicting whether a conflict is SoS. These results come from analysis of our updated data set, although the pattern is even stronger in the replication data for Fearon and Laitin (2003). The estimated coefficients for other covariates are fairly stable, though significance is much reduced when predicting only SoS conflicts (there are so few). The results are unchanged even when regional dummy variables are included. We use duration analysis because so many of the civil wars, and especially the SoS wars, are right censored they are still ongoing so we dont know how long they will last yet. HYPERLINK http//www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar http//www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar, using the data selection program MARGene. The selection on the dependent variable (if the dependent variable is violence or protest) in MAR should tend to bias towards zero the estimated impact of covariates. In the analysis here we also draw on codings of group concentration variables for MAR cases that we carried under our grants from the NSF (SES-9876477 and SES-9876530) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and which have been incorporated into the publicly available MAR data. A group has a regional base (GC2 1 in MAR) if there is a rural zone of the country popularly associated with the group which is inhabited by at least one quarter of the groups country population, and the minoritys concentration is significantly greater than the majoritys (that is, the ratio of the group in the region to group population in the country is much larger than the ratio of majority population in the region to majority population in the country). Indigenous is coded if the MAR variable GC13 3, which means that the group is coded as being indigenous or having migrated to the region before 1800 we have corrected some errors in this variable, though the results do not depend on these changes at all. Competition for vacant land is the MAR variable DMCOMP. The rebellion measure is based on the MAR variable REBEL, an eight point scale ranging from none observed to protracted civil war. For simplicity we dichotomize this at REBEL greater than or equal to 4 (small scale guerrilla activity) using the average of the index or different cutpoints yields very similar patterns. The results are nearly identical if we use only the 1980s to code competition for land (to reduce cases where rebellion might precede the coding of land competition). We have also looked at the panel version of the data with observations for each group for each decade. Rebellion in decade t is strongly related to competition for land in the same decade, or in the lagged decade (standard errors clustered by group) the coefficients for regional base and indigenous are also positive and strongly significant. Results weaken or disappear for DMCOMP with fixed effects for groups, however, in part due to persistence in both dependent and independent variables. Toft (2003) argues for deeper grievances Laitin (2009) provides a technology-based account of why immigrant grievances are less likely to result in a civil war onset. Weidmann (2009) reports evidence favoring the view that geographic concentration facilitates collective action. . This synopsis of Sri Lankan post-independence ethnic violence is drawn from Library of Congress (1988). . See the documentation at http//www.fas.usda.gov/pecad/highlights/2001/10/Chcot/cot.htm. Laitin (2009) explores the rebellion opportunities of migrant populations, and suggests that in the first decade of the 21st century, new forms of urban warfare (in Iraq, in Karachi, in Ivory Coast) may open up opportunities for migrants heretofore difficult. Lacina (2009) models this argument and applies to the case of language movements in India. We note that in a fixed effects model, population growth is either negatively related or unrelated to civil war onset (Fearon and Laitin 2003). In Cetinyans (2002) model, grievances are in effect endogenous to the balance of power between government and rebel group his focus however is on the neutrality of conflict risk to relative power. Fearon and Laitin, Sons-of-the-soil, page PAGE 32 Y, dXiJ(x(
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