Economics at your fingertips  

Identifiability, state repression, and the onset of ethnic conflict

Christine S. Mele () and David A. Siegel ()
Additional contact information
Christine S. Mele: Waggl, Inc
David A. Siegel: Duke University

Public Choice, 2019, vol. 181, issue 3, No 10, 399-422

Abstract: Abstract When do persecuted ethnic minority groups choose to assimilate into the dominant majority group, rather than differentiate from it, and how do states respond? We argue that any answer to these questions must consider the joint effects of identity on state repression and the possibility of ethnic conflict. We posit two mechanisms through which identity acts: (1) mobilization and (2) operational capacity, defined as the ability of the group to contest state repression successfully. We show that minority groups may choose assimilation, even when differentiation would aid them in mobilization against the state, for a tactical reason: the benefits from improved mobilization may be outweighed by costly reductions in operational capacity. Efforts to assimilate emerge when the state cannot be indiscriminate in countering dissent, or when members of the minority group can more easily pass as members of the majority. Repressive states, in anticipation, will hinder assimilation by accentuating fundamental differences between groups.

Keywords: Game theory; Repression; Identity; Identifiability; Conflict; Ethnicity; Assimilation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ce/journal/11127/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00664-w

Access Statistics for this article

Public Choice is currently edited by WIlliam F. Shughart II

More articles in Public Choice from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2020-06-20
Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:181:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-019-00664-w