Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"How Persistent is Civil War?”

Professor David D. Laitin

Jim Fearon and David Laitin in this paper assess the degree of persistence in armed conflict in particular places over the last two centuries, asking in addition if conflict-ridden places have durable features – social, demographic or geographical – that explain persistence, or whether armed conflict at one time has a causal effect on propensity for armed conflict at later times. For all types of war in the Correlates of War and the Breke datasets, they code the territories on which the armed conflict occurred. The data reveal significant levels of persistence in territories that experienced extra-state (imperial and colonial) and non-state wars in an earlier era. Exogenous features such as geography and pre-1800 demography are important in explaining where conflicts persist. However there remains significant persistence controlling for geographic and demographic features. In particular, extra-state wars before 1945 are strongly related to civil war after 1945. This persistence does not appear to arise from the long-run enmity of particular groups that fight repeatedly over centuries. They highlight that while some war types may induce state-building, other war types appear to be state-destroying.

Friday, October 25, 201311:00am - 12:30pm

McKeldin, Special Events Room 6137

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