Religion versus Ethnicity as a Source of Mobilisation: Are There Differences?
No 18, Research Working Papers from MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict
The root causes of most violent conflicts lie in economic and political factors, often horizontal inequalities of various types. Yet people are organised, united and mobilised by identities, in particular ethnic or religious ones. Most conflict analyses treat religion as a subset of ethnicity. This paper explores differences between these two identities, both by reviewing literature and by analysis of some recent surveys of perceptions in a number of conflict-affected countries. It finds many similarities in mobilisation, with both identities used instrumentally by leaders, but both ‘essentialised’ and ‘believed in’ by those who are mobilised. Yet in both cases, leaders have to cultivate the identity of those mobilised, and that of the ‘other’, to induce violence on any scale. Religious organisation and external support are often stronger than in the case of ethnicity, but there is no evidence that religious conflicts are more deadly than ethnic ones. Preliminary evidence suggests that in the many cases where both identities are present and overlapping, the identity along which mobilisation occurs is determined by demographics and according to the identity which is perceived as being used politically in the allocation of government jobs and contracts. The need for both religious and ethnic leaders to work at mobilisation for some time preceding a conflict gives rise to possibilities of monitoring and intervention to prevent conflict occurring.
Keywords: Conflict; mobilisation; ethnicity; religion; horizontal inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 55 pages
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/RWP18_FS.pdf First version, 2009 (application/pdf)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 500 Can't connect to www.microconflict.eu:80 (This is usually a temporary error during hostname resolution and means that the local server did not receive a response from an authoritative server. )
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:18
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Research Working Papers from MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by John Spall ( this e-mail address is bad, please contact ).