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Research Seminar | Mobilization and Conflict in Multiethnic States

Monday October 25, 2021, from 13:15 to 14:30
Online & Face-to-face*. Room 24.009 (Ground floor). Mercè Rodoreda Building 24. UPF Ciutadella
Research seminar

Manuel Vogt (University College London). ChairMatthias vom Hau (IBEI)

Available in video:

Why are ethnic movements more likely to turn violent in some multiethnic countries than in others? Focusing on the long-term legacies of European colonialism, this book presents two ideal-typical logics of ethnic group mobilization - one of violent competition and another of non-violent emancipatory opposition. The book's theory explains why ethnic grievances are translated into either violent or non-violent forms of conflict as a function of distinct ethnic cleavage types, resulting from different colonial experiences. Violent inter-group conflict is least likely where settler colonialism resulted in persistent stratification, with ethnic groups organized as ethno-classes. Such stratified societies are characterized by an equilibrium of inequality, in which historically marginalized groups lack both the organizational strength and the opportunities for armed rebellion. In contrast, where colonialism and decolonization divided ethnic groups into segmented, unranked sub-societies that feature distinct socio-economic and cultural institutions, ethnic mobilization is more likely to trigger violent conflict. Using new data on the linguistic and religious segmentation of ethnic groups, the book’s macro-level analysis finds that the extremely unequal colonial settler states experience fewer and less lethal ethnic civil conflicts but higher levels of peaceful ethno-political contention than the decolonized states and other multiethnic countries. These results are robust when considering the immediate post-independence period of the settler states and when testing for the possible endogeneity of cleavage types. Second, the chapter confirms that the theorized effects of hierarchization and social integration apply to all multiethnic states in general. Ethnic civil conflict is generally more likely the more segmented and less hierarchically structured multiethnic states are. Specifically, stable between-group hierarchies reduce the risk of governmental conflict, whereas segmentation only affects secessionist conflicts.

Manuel Vogt's research and teaching interests stand at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics, with a particular focus on non-state actors and contentious politics in developing countries. Manuel Vogt is most interested in four broad related topics: the causes and consequences of inequality and civil violence in multiethnic states, processes of ethnic group mobilization, the impact of elite networks on contentious politics in developing countries, as well as political extremism and radicalization. His research is informed by both quantitative and qualitative methods and draws on profound regional expertise acquired, above all, through field research in both Latin America (Guatemala, Ecuador) and Sub-Saharan Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon). He is the author of "Mobilization and Conflict in Multiethnic States," which explains why some multiethnic countries are more prone to civil violence than others, combining statistical analyses with 150 in-depth elite interviews with key social and political actors.

Co-organized by IBEI and ETHNICGOODS

*This activity has limited capacity. Registration is required to have a guaranteed seat and be able to attend the face-to-face modality. Virtual attendees will receive the access link by email.


Check the complete list of this year's research seminars