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Gurr: Peoples versus States

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.

Gurr. 2000. Peoples versus States: Minorities at Risk in the New Century. Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.

See Figure 3.1 for a very nice summary. Roughly, this is the causal chain, with 4 main X's and one Y (ethnic action) that can take two forms (peaceful protest or violent rebellion) depending on three additional X's:

  1. Salience of ethnocultural identity + (2) Incentives for ethnic action --> The group's capacity for collective action.
  2. Group capacity + (4) domestic opportunities for action --> ethnopolitical action (either peaceful protest or violence).

Domestic factors determine whether action will be protest or rebellion: (a) democratic vs authoritarian norms and institutions; (b) state ability to put down a rebellion (strong state --> peace, weak --> rebel); (c) elite traditions of either accomodation or repression of segmental interests (like class, religion, and ethnicity).

International factors can also support ethnic action: (a) global doctrines of nationalism and minority rights; (b) regional/global networks of ethnic/religious kindred; (c) diffusion of conflict from similar groups elsewhere; (d) external political or material support.

Figure 3.1 gives bullet point descriptions of the causes of each of the four main X's.

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Tags

Gurr, Ted Robert (author)Political ScienceComparative PoliticsEthnic ConflictRebellionParticipation

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