Polarization and Conflict: Theoretical and Empirical Issues

  title={Polarization and Conflict: Theoretical and Empirical Issues},
  author={Joan Esteban and Gerald Schneider},
  journal={Journal of Peace Research},
  pages={131 - 141}
Recent formal and empirical research in political science and economics strongly indicates that various forms of political and social polarization increase the risk of violent conflict within and between nation states. The articles collected for this issue explore this crucial relationship and provide answers to a variety of topics: First, contributors address how institutions and other contingent factors mediate the conflict potential in polarized societies. Second, this special issue compares… Expand
Polarization and the Global Crisis of Democracy: Common Patterns, Dynamics, and Pernicious Consequences for Democratic Polities
This article argues that a common pattern and set of dynamics characterizes severe political and societal polarization in different contexts around the world, with pernicious consequences forExpand
Multidimensional Polarization, Social Classes, and Societal Conflict: Evidence from Medieval Towns
The paper focuses on the nature of a population distribution (polarized or not) and its possible influence on societal conflict. Despite theoretical and empirical studies on the link betweenExpand
Sometimes Enemies, Sometimes Friends
Political polarization and the growing power of the presidency have created new incentives for political actors in the realm of foreign policy that have not existed prior in American history. I argueExpand
Urban Conflict, Rent Seeking, and Corruption Economic and Political Institutions in a Historical Perspective
This paper is an empirical analysis to explore the relationships between urban conflict and both rent seeking and corruption. It examines social disturbances in medieval France through a sample ofExpand
Bargaining under polarization: The case of the Colombian armed conflict
A bargaining framework and a measure of conflict polarization are developed from two elements: (i) hatred-based negative externalities experienced by the parties to the conflict, and (ii) penaltiesExpand
Is polarization bad
The adverse effects of political and social polarization on government policies are empirically well documented, yet some democracies seem to cope well or even benefit from diversity. In this paperExpand
Does Globalization Breed Ethnic Discontent?
This article examines how different components of globalization affect the death toll from internal armed conflict. Conventional wisdom once held that the severity of internal conflict wouldExpand
Does Globalization Breed Ethnic
This article examines how different components of globalization affect the death toll from internal armed conflict. Conventional wisdom once held that the severity of internal conflict wouldExpand
Ethnic fractionalization, natural resources and armed conflict
Thus far, researchers working on ethnicity and resources as determinants of civil conflict have operated largely independently of each other. While there is plenty of evidence that natural resourcesExpand
War and poverty
The main objective of this paper is to systematically identify potential channels of transmission linking civil war and poverty that may lead to the persistence of cycles of poverty and war. AExpand


Rules That Matter: Political Institutions and the Diversity—Conflict Nexus
One controversy in the study of civil war relates to the role that institutions play in ethnically diverse societies. `Constitutional engineers' advance various institutional arrangements, rangingExpand
Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars
This paper analyzes the relationship between ethnic fractionalization, polarization, and conflict. In recent years many authors have found empirical evidence that ethnic fractionalization has aExpand
Polarization, Fractionalization and Conflict
This article provides a theoretical framework that distinguishes between the occurrence of conflict and its severity, and clarifies the role of polarization and fractionalization in each of theseExpand
Polarization and Interstate Conflict
Esteban & Ray formalize the argument that conflict is likely to be more intense when individuals in a society are divided into two clearly identifiable groups where differences within groups areExpand
Polarization, Horizontal Inequalities and Violent Civil Conflict
Recent large-N studies of civil war conclude that inequality does not increase the risk of violent conflict. This article argues that such conclusions may be premature because these studies, whichExpand
An Evaluation of “Does Economic Inequality Breed Political Conflict?” Studies
Contradictory findings, that economic inequality may have a positive, negative, or no impact on political conflict, are a puzzle for conflict studies. Three approaches have been used t o explain theExpand
Polarization and Ethnic Conflict in a Widened Strategic Setting
Ethnic groups and conflicts often transcend country borders, indicating that notions of relative strength and resolve may also surpass such borders. This study focuses on the association betweenExpand
The Perils of Polarization: Economic Performance in the Postcommunist World
Perhaps the most striking feature of the postcommunist transformation is the tremendous variation in rates of economic growth across countries. To account for these differences, this article developsExpand
Polarization and Policy Reform: Anti-Corruption Policymaking in Sub-Saharan Africa
The ability of political systems to adopt policy reforms contributes to their internal stability. This article analyses 29 anti-corruption reforms in seven sub-Saharan countries. It seeks to explainExpand
Conflict and Distribution
Abstract We develop a behavioral model that links the level and pattern of social conflict to the societywide distribution of individual characteristics. The model can be applied to groups thatExpand