What do you find more Convincing when Explaining the Outbreak of Intra-state Wars: Greed or Grievance?

Part of the function of war may be that it offers a more promising environment for the pursuit of aims that are also prominent in peacetime… keeping a war going may assist in the achievement of these aims, and prolonging a war may be a higher priority than winning it.”[1]

Between 1945 and 1999 there were 127 intra-state wars.  These conflicts claimed the lives of around 16.2 million people and had a median duration of six years.  This figure is five times greater than the total for inter-state wars.[2]  Understanding the causes of such human devastation is arguably the most important question facing contemporary peace research.  Can the desire for self-enrichment by corrupt government elites or rebel leaders be solely responsible?  Are we to believe the rhetoric of the latter who claim they represent the interests of oppressed populations?  In short, what is the most convincing explanation for the outbreak of intra-state wars?  Can we attribute its origin simply to greed or grievance?  Or are there other more subtle factors that must also be taken into account?  Perhaps the presence of war fighting capabilities, that create an opportunity for conflict, must be juxtaposed with the greed and grievance hypothesis.  Moreover, what do we understand by intra-state war?  This discussion will contribute by surveying current literature, highlighting the main arguments, and exploring these questions by careful analysis of empirical case studies and cross-disciplinary application of political psychology.  We disagree with purely rationalist scientific explanations for the outbreak of intra-state war because its approach does not take adequate account of human agency; however, agency is subjective and difficult to demonstrate qualitatively.  It is argued that in actuality, greed, grievance and opportunity are inextricably linked.  Although it may be necessary to distinguish between them for the purposes of academic enquiry, in the field the extent to which one factor can be said to be the cause of intra-state war is also dependent on the specific context of a given situation, the conflict dynamics, and the interpretation of the individual carrying out the investigation.

Defining Intra-state War:

Contextualising the factors that develop our definition of intra-state war is necessary to provide analytical clarity.  Wallensteen identifies three of the most significant projects.  The Michigan (COW) project is the oldest (initiated in the mid 1960s) and serves as a reference point for many others.  However, its focus is on conflict within an international system of states and is therefore less relevant for the present discussion.  The Hamburg (AKUF) project requires that a state should be the actor on one side of a conflict and no requirement for a particular number of deaths.  All three base their definitions around a number of important criteria first; their analysis is ahistorical.  Second, they define conflict between as well as within states, and aspire to include all conflicts.  And third they develop precise definitions based on delimiting a particular conflict.  For this discussion, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) definition of armed conflict will be used as it incorporates an element found in neither of the other two; it requires an issue or incompatibility to be present.[3]  Thus an incompatibility can be interpreted as relating to either greed or grievance.  Further, “the project includes as armed conflicts only those events that concern control over government or territory…Control over government means that the issue is who should rule a particular state and demands for change include the change of rulers.”[4]  Finally, the UCDP definition of intra-state war also focuses on group perceptions of why the conflict exists.

Greed – Myth & Reality:

The causes and consequences of intra-state war in low-income and resource rich societies has been a focus of research by Paul Collier.[5]  His analysis of causality has significantly contributed to the greed or grievance debate and has its methodological roots in economic theory.  Given Collier’s background it is unsurprising that the approach and conclusions of his earlier work gave primacy to the use of statistical econometric data which he presented to policymakers in terms of risk factors, graphs and percentages.  This rationalist approach has proved popular because of its objective scientific underpinnings and the absence of other less easily quantified subjective factors.  He argues that “there is a profound gap between popular perceptions on the causes of conflict and the results from economic analysis.[6]  Initial assumptions for the validity of this assertion have been informed by the extent to which media sources and policymakers assimilate the rhetoric of rebel leaders as the most significant factor driving inter-state war.  Collier makes an important observation in support of this point: “since both greed-motivated and grievance motivated rebel organisations embed their behaviour in a narrative of grievance, the observation of that narrative provides no informational content to the researcher as to the true motivation of the rebellion.”[7]  This is discourse manipulation and provides the opportunity for elites to overtly state that an incompatibility is based on grievance rather than greed and is therefore intractable.[8]  Kemp agrees with Collier stating that “if one looks below the surface of many so-called ethnic conflicts, one finds that the reason they become protracted is because the legitimate national interests of the many are hijacked by the narrow economic greed of the few.”[9]  Rather than viewing conflict through the prism of protest [grievance], Collier suggests that a deeper and more through investigation results in an interpretation of intra-state war as the ultimate manifestation of organised crime [greed].[10]  Collier reaches this conclusion through analysis of quantitative macro-economic data.

Collier argues that the presence of certain risk factors increases the likelihood of intra-state war based on economic motivation.  The method he used to justify his analysis involved statistical techniques based on logit and probit regression[11] using a database of intra-state wars from 1965 to 1999 which he classified as “an internal conflict with at least one thousand battle-related deaths.”[12]  In order to quantify the risk factors and demonstrate that the presence of certain criteria dramatically increases the risk of conflict based on economic motives, he undertook comparative analysis using a fictitious state with mean baseline characteristics.[13]  The most significant results of his analysis demonstrate the explanatory power of statistical data in establishing greed as the main cause of intra-state war.  His analysis identified primary resource commodity dependence (PRCD) (23% higher than the mean state average whose risk without PRCD is 0.5%), the internal geography of a state (because of geographic dispersion the Congo has a 50% greater risk than the mean average) – an assertion also supported by Ballentine at al,[14] its history (if recently in conflict a state has a 40% chance of returning to conflict) and diaspora (if a state has a large U.S. diaspora the chances of conflict developing are 36% higher than the mean), levels of education (a ten percentage point increase of young males in education reduces the risk from 14% to 10%), and the ethnic and religious composition of groups within a state.[15]  Contrary to arguments put forward by proponents of the grievance approach, and supporting Collier’s warning about accepted narrative, his research found that highly mixed ethnic and religious composition did not constitute a significant risk factor.  The conclusions of Fearon and Laitin support this assessment.[16]  Of these factors, states with a heavy reliance on PRCD which have a large geographical area and dispersed population with low levels of education present the most significant risk factors for intra-state war based on the greed hypothesis.

Further, Collier identified the presence of PRCD because resources such as timber, gold, and diamonds are relatively easy to extract and do not generally require sophisticated technological infrastructure and investment as is the case with oil and natural gas extraction.  Gold and diamond mining may require significant finance to identify but once mines have been established, human-power is the most important requirement to exploit them for selfish enrichment.  He suggests that PRCD is a good example of ‘lootable’ resources.  Another advantage conferred by these resources is that control over the point of origin, although beneficial, is not conditional on a group’s ability to extract wealth from them.  Territorial control over the path to global markets also provides attractive opportunities for predatory taxation and financial enrichment.  Furthermore, within states of low socio-economic output, these lootable resources can be extracted in kind and easily exchanged for financial gain or war fighting capabilities.[17]  Internal geography and territorial control play a significant but ancillary role to PRCD.  Lack of government control increases the likelihood of predatory behaviour by groups seeking economic opportunity to perpetuate the cycle of violence.[18]  Finally, low levels of education especially amongst young male’s increases the risk of manipulation by elites whose actions are motivated by greed.  This relates to findings in Collier’s later work which has placed increased emphasis on the interaction between greed and opportunity.  His revised position is broadly supported by Fearon and Laitin.[19]  In sum Collier states: “where rebellions happen to be financially viable, wars will occur.  As part of the process of war, the rebel organisation must generate group grievance for military effectiveness.  The generation of group grievance politicises the war.  Thus, the war produces the intense political conflict, not the intense political conflict the war.”[20]  This departure infers an acknowledgement by Collier that grievance plays an ancillary role to greed.  Thus, Collier implies that there is difficulty in determining grievance as the primary cause of intra-state war.

Problems of Grievance as Causality:

How have scholars developed the grievance hypothesis as an explanation for the outbreak of intra-state war?  Morton Deutsch emphasises the psychological, social and cultural attributes associated with grievance.  He makes a distinction between subjective factors, defining them as values, goals, cognitions, expectations and perceptions; and objective factors characterised by the availability of group resources and access to power, skills and allies.[21]  Here, we are concerned with the former (subjective) features that contribute to the grievance debate.  Whilst it is noted that the utility of subjective factors for quantitative analysis is subject to limitations that proponents of rationalist scientific methodology are quick to identify, the point here is to demonstrate the importance and relevance of qualitative research.  This can usefully be conceptualised as underlying or latent features which feed into notions of grievance.  Deutsch contributes to this analysis and observes that although “each participant in a social interaction responds to the other in terms of his perceptions and cognitions of the other; these may not correspond to the other’s actualities.”[22]  This view is widely supported by studies of social psychology. It recognises the inherent difficulties of drawing conclusions based on analysis related to individual perception.[23]  Thus, although one may highlight political or economic grievances by empirical example, the reader could infer quite the opposite interpretation because of their beliefs, values or perceptions.  Even if this is so, it still supports the thesis in the present analysis that, in actuality, greed, grievance and opportunity are co-dependent.

Empirical Examples: The Link between Greed, Grievance and Opportunity:

The empirical evidence to support these arguments is largely based on a conference held at the WoodrowWilsonInternationalCenterfor Scholars in WashingtonD.C.on 10 September 2001.  It has been selected because the problem of subjectivity associated with values, beliefs and perceptions is mitigated by the number and multilateral approach of its contributors.  Therefore, it serves as a proxy and safeguard against potential bias that may otherwise be present if each case discussed had been analysed by an individual or small group of scholars.  Historical background and detailed information about the groups involved has been abbreviated and economised because our primary concern is to demonstrate the interaction between greed, grievance and opportunity.


According to Marc Chernick, the intra-state war within Colombiais one of the most protracted of the twentieth century.  Research and analysis provides a robust case for arguing that it is a good empirical example of a war fuelled decisively by grievance.[24]  However, both Chernick and Guaqueta agree that it incorporates attributes of the greed hypothesis.  Detailed analysis also reveals a correlation with one of the risk factors identified earlier by Collier.  A dispersed population and lack of territorial control by the government has contributed to the belligerent’s ability to create revenue and thus sustain its war fighting capabilities.  However, as Guaqueta states, conflict developed as the result of growing incompatibility between the government and left-wing guerrillas (FARC and ELN).  Aside from the subsequent rise of right-wing paramilitary groups, he argues that “the broad political dynamics have remained largely unchanged.”[25]  These groups took up arms to redress political injustices that Guaqueta identifies as “historically rooted socio-economic grievances of marginalized classes, and competing ideas on the type of political and economic system Colombia should have.”[26]  In order to sustain the conflict, these groups initially relied on local voluntary contributions and engaged in extortion and kidnapping.  However, they increasingly became involved in the production and distribution of illicit drugs such as cocaine partly in response to rising demand from the United States and Europe and because of its enormous revenue generating potential.[27]  Consequently, and demonstrative of the conflict dynamics involved, Guaqueta explains “their pursuit of economic resources has influenced their strategic behaviour… even though the goal of most Colombian guerrillas is not self-enrichment, their economic strength has informed their decision not to demobilize.”[28]  Thus despite broad agreement that the conflict in Colombia began in the context of socio-economic and political grievance, greed and has become a key explanatory factor and economic opportunity has provided the basis for increased political influence and material self-enrichment.  

Sierra Leone:

Preliminary analysis suggests that the conflict in Sierra Leoneserves as a clear example of intra-state war between the government and Revolutionary United Front (RUF) based on greed.  It also displays a number of features consistent with the risk factors identified by Collier (PRCD [diamonds], weak government control, and a large uneducated male population).  Kandeh challenges the greed assessment but supports Collier’s thesis suggesting that “the forces of greed capitalise upon circumstances created by grievance, particularly when state control is fragmented.”[29]  He points out that if greed where the most powerful explanatory factor, one would have expected to see similar conflicts in Botswana and Namibia however, this was not the case.  Rather, he argues “in Sierra Leone, it was not the presence of diamonds, but the way they were managed and distributed that explains the outbreak of conflict.”[30]  This empirical example also demonstrates the interaction between greed and grievance but more importantly it shows how the presence of Collier’s lootable resources provides the opportunity for conflict to develop and become protracted because without access to resources violent conflict is unsustainable.[31


The intra-state war in Angolahas passed through several stages beginning as a struggle for independence by the MPLA, FNLA, and UNITA against Portuguese colonial administration thus beginning as a conflict based on grievance.[32]  Following independence, the victorious coalition disintegrated into a battle for political control between the FNLA and UNITA verses the MPLA government.  Quantifying the human cost King notes “the combined casualty rate for all post-communist conflicts including those of the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia were less than half that of the Angolan conflict.”[33]  Overwhelmingly, it was the civilian population who bore the brunt of destruction and its impoverishment can be attributed to MPLA elites based in Luanda and the UNITA leadership, particularly Jonas Savimbi.[34]  Although as Terry Karl argues natural resources are value neutral,[35] their presence played a central role in sustaining the conflict.  This assertion is supported by Philippe Le Billon who argues that “the image of oil-financed MPLA versus diamond-financed UNITA is simplistic, yet relatively accurate, as these resources have become an integral part of the belligerents’ violent drive for power.”[36]  Although each side made attempts to mask their motives in the narrative of grievance, the empirical evidence suggests that the grievance hypothesis played an ancillary role in this intra-state war.  The presence of oil and diamond resources not only provided opportunity but also acted as a catalyst for corruption within and between the two groups and increased the potential of extending the conflict.[37]  


Evidence found relating to the intra-state war in Burmareveals the importance of identifying patterns in conflict dynamics and marks a departure from the other three examples presented above.  Analysis also demonstrates the difficulties, challenges and unintended consequences of mounting a coherent and effective response strategy to internal conflicts that are based on political grievance.  Here we can identify a reversal in the progression of grievance to greed causality.  In this case greed is more accurately understood as a function of marginalised group’s armed resistance.  Sherman states that “gaining control over illicit economic activity became essential to the very survival of ethnic minority insurgent groups.”[38]  It can be argued that accession to power of the State Peace and Development Council (SLORC) was motivated by greed in the context of political power.  But scholars and policymakers accept the assertion that it has since become a conflict rooted in grievance involving over thirty insurgent groups representing a wide range of ethnic, political and ideological differences.  As Sherman observes one can be defined as “pro-democracy and predominantly nonviolent, the other pro-ethnic and armed.”[39]  Thus greed is an ancillary factor in that economic incentives and the development of a shadow economy has facilitated armed struggle to redress political grievance.

US and EU trade sanctions, the denial of financing, credit and insurance from the IMF and World Bank were intended to put pressure on the SLORC to relinquish its grip on power, encourage democratisation and recognise the rights of ethnic minority groups.  However, these sanctions have had unintended local and wider consequences affecting the very groups the measures were designed to assist, thus significantly contributing to social problems that western states actively seek to avoid.  Within Burma the SLORC’s response has been to tighten its control over its internal boarders thus denying insurgent groups trade and economic opportunities to fund their resistance.[40]  Of more concern for the international community, these sanctions have encouraged the development of a shadow economy as Sherman observes: “in 1996 ‘illegal’ activity constituted more than half of Burma’s domestic economy.  Inflows of funds from exports of opium and heroin alone are worth as much as all legal exports.”[41]  This has seriously damaged US and EU anti-drug policies.  Incontrovertible qualitative evidence of this can be seen in the UK where the street price of Heroin is currently at an all time low.[42]  Analysis through empirical example clearly shows the interaction of greed, grievance and opportunity.  Defining important concepts and providing an overview of some significant theories from political psychology will help to explain the salience of human agency and group dynamics.  These processes will be analysed to show why rationalist scientific explanations for the outbreak of intra-state war are inadequate.

Political Psychology’s Contribution: Defending Against the Rationalist Attack:

According to Cottam et al, cognition is comprised and informed by attitude and belief structures.  They define attitude as “an enduring system of positive or negative beliefs, affective feelings and emotions, and action tendencies regarding attitude objects.[43]  This definition illustrates the persistence of historical events that consciously and unconsciously impact on individual and group behaviour.  Stone and Schaffner’s definition emphasises the consequential element of attitude, which they present as “an organised set of beliefs, persisting over time, which is useful in explaining individual and group response tendencies.[44]  Combining these two definitions demonstrates the importance and function of preconceived attitudes that are historically durable and provide signposts relating to the formation of images that groups hold towards eachother.  This is illustrated by persistent intra-group violence between Hutu’s and Tutsi’s in Rwanda, colonial preference for administrative management by the minority group facilitated development of positive in-group social comparison and led to negative stereotyping and dehumanisation of the out-group.  For the purposes of this discussion, beliefs are defined as “associations people create between an object and its attributes.”[45]  Once formed, attitudes and beliefs of the other become mutually reinforcing, persistent and highly resistant to change.  Furthermore, these factors contribute to a perception of intractability associated with conflict.  The way in which individuals and groups process attitudes and beliefs is called cognition, defined as “a collective term for the psychological processes involved in the acquisition, organisation, and use of knowledge.”[46]  However, one of the problems human beings encounter in relation to cognition when conceptualising their external environment relates to attribution theory.  This suggests that human’s process information like naïve scientists, or cognitive misers.  They rely heavily on heuristics, or mental shortcuts to process incoming information from an environment which would otherwise be too complicated to understand.[47]  Intense interaction between cohesive in-groups can lead to the risk of predicting behaviour in the context of availability heuristics increasing the likelihood of making the fundamental attribution error and greater tendency towards groupthink (especially at elite government level).[48]

A lack of detailed information regarding an out-group has a number of consequences.  It can lead to the development of prejudice which Duckitt et al define as “a negative group attitude.”[49] And increased intra-group prejudice can contribute to the use of stereotypes understood as “beliefs about the characteristics of a group or category of people.” [50]  These concepts taken from social psychology serve as analytical tools and help to understand and interpret conflict dynamics and cycles of violence.  Thus it is now possible to carryout a review of its theoretical application in support of the grievance hypothesis and outbreak of intra-state war.  Attitudes and beliefs (cognition) combine with information simplified through the use of heuristics and stereotypes to form images we hold of the other.  As Cottam highlights “images are the lenses through which information is filtered… they help by eliminating unimportant information from consideration.  They hinder because they are stereotyped simplifications that can distort information.”[51]  The utility, power, and influence of imagery and stereotyping in relation to the development of conflict concerning the behaviour of groups towards each other is widely recognised.  But as Kressel warns, “it is a small step from categorization to stereotyping and favouritism for one’s own group.”[52]  A common response to the observation of difference between groups manifests itself in negative social comparison towards an out-group otherwise known as social identity theory.[53]  Due to the use of heuristics and stereotyping, and in the absence of contradictory information, other groups are discriminated against which can result in application of the enemy image which, Herrmann points out that is the best-studied inherent bad faith model.[54]  The enemy image highlights the importance of perception and in relation to intra-state war because positive attitudes held towards in-groups are reinforced by negative stereotyping towards out-groups.  Furthermore, once formed negative imagery of the other becomes engrained and pervasive.  From an emotional response perspective, Cottam argues that one would expect to observe anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, fear and distrust in relation to the enemy image therefore having a profound impact on behaviour and increasing the likelihood of intra-group hostility. [55]  Moreover, efficacy of grievance as a cause of conflict can also be analysed on the individual level.

The denial of basic human needs, identified by Staub and Bar-Tal, is a major factor in grievance formation and relate directly to the outbreak of intra-state war.  They define basic human needs as the “need for security, the need for positive identity, the need for a feeling of effectiveness and control, the need for a connection to other individuals and community or group, [and finally] the need for a comprehension of reality that makes the world and one’s own place in it understandable.”[56]  Whilst open to subjective interpretation, qualitative research carried out by social psychologists empirically demonstrates examples of intra-group violence based on denial of the aforementioned characteristics.  The Rwandan genocide is a case in point.  Furthermore, Staub and Bar-Tal make an important observation about the growth of interpersonal and intra-group grievance, that, “Basic needs have an imperative quality.  They demand satisfaction.  If they cannot be fulfilled constructively, they will often be fulfilled destructively.  That is, they may be fulfilled at the cost of other people.”[57]  Another cogent argument made by these scholars draws attention to manipulation by elites and politicians who exploit the basic needs hypothesis for political gain.  They state that “instigators can give rise to societal beliefs that help to fulfil basic needs but at the same time move the group toward turning against another group or, when there is already group conflict, intensify antagonism.”[58]  Moreover, Staub and Bar-Tal stress the importance of greed in relation to elite manipulation positing its deliberate confusion with basic needs in the service of economic gain.[59]  In circumstances where basic needs are being denied because of political repression, economic hardship or other factors; the risk of intra-group polarisation increases.  Consequently, the likelihood of negative social comparison, stereotyping, prejudice and other discriminatory behaviour becomes greater leading to a growing perception of grievance and injustice manifesting itself in the outbreak of open hostilities.  This greatly increases the possibility of intra-state war.


The interaction between greed, grievance and opportunity is evident.  The utility and power of economic data is demonstrated by Collier by presentation through the medium of statistics, graphs and percentages.  The simplicity of conveying this apparently highly scientific information has made it popular with policymakers and the media, validating the heuristic arguments of political psychologists.  Moreover, statistical data inculcates a sense of precision and clarity in other approaches.  The risk factors Collier identifies are a useful starting point for meaningful academic enquiry but are of limited value without reference to the specific circumstances involved.  However, as recognised in his later work, greed defined as selfish or economic self-enrichment it not sufficient to explain the outbreak of intra-state war.  He subsequently recognises the importance of opportunity in terms of causality.  The efficacy of empirical case study analysis has been demonstrated and the risk of subjectivity mitigated through the perspective of various contributors.  In addition, psychological research contributes to our understanding; broadening our levels of analysis.  Attention to the intra-group level has highlighted the part played by unobservable but qualitatively justified forces that impact behaviour.  The importance of human agency in explanations of intra-group conflict has been developed by drawing attention to the basic needs hypothesis.  We conclude that in conflict situations the greed or grievance hypothesis should not be understood in linear terms. Rather, greed, grievance and opportunity may more accurately be conceptualised through clusters of forces that act upon groups, with changing and overlapping degrees of influence that must take consideration of the particular context of a conflict.  If the international community truly seeks to reduce the likelihood and outbreak of intra-state war, it must take a holistic approach.  As academics and practitioners of peace research offer the findings of their research, the questions of state interest and motivation come to the fore.  Are there grounds for optimism? Perhaps, but as Kofi Annan said in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide: “If we were to be confronted with a new Rwanda is the world ready to do it, would the world move in to stop it? And my answer is I really don’t know I wish I could say yes but I am not convinced that we will see the kind of the kind of political will and the action required to stop it.”[60]


Annan, K. Interviewed in: Ghosts of Rwanda, A Frontline Production for PBS, Broadcast 1 April 2004 (United States)

Ballentine, K. et al. The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed & Grievance, (Colorado USA, Lynne Rienner Publications, Inc, 2003)

Berdal, M. et al. Greed and Grievance: Economic Agendas in Intra-state wars, (Colorado USA, Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc, 2000)

Campbell, D. T. ‘Stereotypes and perception of group differences’, American Psychologist, 22 (1967) pp. 812-829

Cottam, M. L. et al. Introduction to Political Psychology. (USA, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004)

Crocker, C. A. et al. Collier, P. Turbulent Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Conflict, (Washington, DC, United States Institute of Peace, 2001)

Fearon, J. D. & Laitin, D.D.‘Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Intra-state war’, American Political Science Review, 97 (2003) pp. 75-90

Kemp, W. ‘The Business of Ethnic Conflict’, Security Dialogue, 35 (2004) pp. 447-463

Kressel, N. J. Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror. (USA, Westview Press Books, 2002)

Sears, D. O. et al Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology (New York, Oxford University Press, Inc. 2003)

Stone, W. & Schaffner, P. The Psychology of Politics, (USA, Springer-Verlag, 1988)

Vayrynen, R. et al. New Directions in Conflict Theory: Conflict Resolution and Conflict Transformation, (Guildford, Great Britain, Sage Publications Ltd, 1991)

Van Dijk, T. A. ‘Discourse and Manipulation’, Discourse & Society, 17 (2006) pp. 359-383

Wallensteen, P. Understanding Conflict Resolution, (London, Sage Publications Ltd, 2007)

Internet Resources

Bennetto, J. ‘Street Prices Plummet as Use Reaches Epidemic Levels’ Independent on Sunday Online, 13 September 2006, http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article1523145.ece

Ender, P. ‘Multivariate Analysis: Probit Regression Models’, UCLA Department of Education, 2003, http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/courses/ed231a1/notes2/probit1.html

Paul Collier: Home Page, http://users.ox.ac.uk/~econpco/

Sherman, J et al. ‘The Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed and Greed’, WoodrowWilsonInternationalCenterfor Scholars: InternationalPeaceAcademy, 2001, http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/ACF1AD.pdf

[1] Sherman, J. ‘Burma: Lessons from the Cease-Fires’, in The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed & Grievance, edited by Karen Ballentine & Jake Sherman (Colorado USA, Lynne Rienner Publications, Inc, 2003), p. 225.

[2] Fearon, J. D. & Laitin, D. D. ‘Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Intra-state war’, American Political Science Review, 97 (2003) p. 75.

[3] Wallensteen, P. Understanding Conflict Resolution, (London, Sage Publications Ltd, 2007), p. 16-24.  The Michigan and Uppsala conflict data programs use three categories of intensity: minor armedconflicts – conflicts with more than 25 deaths but fewer than 1000 for the year and for the duration of the conflict.  Intermediate armed conflicts – are conflicts with more than 25 deaths and fewer than 1000 for a year but more than 1000 for the duration of the conflict.  Wars – conflicts with more than 1000 battle-related deaths in one year.

[4] Wallensteen, P. Understanding, p. 23.

[5] Paul Collier: Home Page, http://users.ox.ac.uk/~econpco/ (accessed 14 November 2007).

[6] Collier, P. ‘Economic Causes of Conflict’ in Turbulent Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Conflict, edited by Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampton, and Pamela Aall (Washington, DC, United States Institute of Peace, 2001), p. 144.

[7] Collier, P. ‘Doing Well Out of War: An Economic Perspective’, Greed and Grievance: Economic Agendas in Intra-state wars, edited by Mats Berdal & David Malone, (Colorado USA, Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc, 2000), p.92.

[8] Van Dijk, T. A. ‘Discourse and Manipulation’, Discourse & Society, 17 (2006) p. 359. Discourse manipulation: can be understood in the context of a triangle in terms of manipulation as a form of social power abuse, cognitive mind control and discursive interaction.  Socially, manipulation is defined as illegitimate domination confirming social inequality.  Cognitively, manipulation as mind control involves the interference with processes of understanding, the formation of biased mental models and social representations, the formation of biased mental models and social representations such as knowledge and ideologies (emphasising Our good things, and emphasising Their bad things).  For a wider discussion on the use of discourse manipulation in war see: Jackson, R. ‘Language and power: reproducing the discourse’, in Writing the War on Terrorism, (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2005).

[9] Kemp, W. ‘The Business of Ethnic Conflict’, Security Dialogue, 35 (2004) p. 43.

[10] Collier, P. Economic Causes, p. 144.

[11] Ender, P. ‘Multivariate Analysis: Probit Regression Models’, UCLA Department of Education, 2003, http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/courses/ed231a1/notes2/probit1.html (accessed 14 November 2007).  Probit analysis along with logistic regression are the two major methods for analyzing binary response data. The term “probit’ was coined in the 1930’s by Chester Bliss and stands for probability unit. These two analyses, logit and probit, are very similar to one another. Logit analysis is based on log odds while probit uses the cumulative normal probability distribution.

[12] Collier, P. Economic Causes, p. 147

[13] Collier, P. Economic Causes, p. 147.  See original for full details.

[14] Ballentine, K. ‘Beyond Greed and Grievance: Reconsidering the Economic Dynamics of Armed Conflict’, in The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed & Grievance, edited by Karen Ballentine & Jake Sherman (Colorado USA, Lynne Rienner Publications, Inc, 2003), p. 266. They argue that the spatial dimensions of state weakness play an important role in this regard; pointing out the opportunity for rebellion is not just shaped by rebel access to mountainous terrain, but also by the limited reach of state authority and capacity in other peripheral areas.

[15] Collier, P. Economic Causes, p. 149.

[16] Fearon, J. D. Ethnicity, p. 75. They state: it appears not to be true that a greater degree of ethnic or religious diversity – or indeed any particular cultural demography – by itself makes a country more prone to intra-state war.  This finding runs contrary to a common view among journalists, policymakers, and academics, which holds that “plural” societies to be especially conflict-prone due to ethnic or religious tensions and antagonisms.

[17] Collier, P. Doing Well, p.93-4.

[18] Collier, P. Economic Causes, p. 153.

[19] Fearon, J. D. Ethnicity, p. 77.

[20] Collier, P. Economic Causes, p. 155.

[21] Deutsch, M. ‘Subjective Features of Conflict Resolution: Psychological, Social and Cultural Influences’, in New Directions in Conflict Theory: Conflict Resolution and Conflict Transformation, edited by Raimo Vayrynen (Guildford, Great Britain, Sage Publications Ltd, 1991) p. 28.

[22] Deutsch, M. Subjective Features, p. 28.

[23] Campbell, D. T. ‘Stereotypes and perception of group differences’, American Psychologist, 22 (1967) pp. 812-829.  He cites the work carried out by Gardner Murphy in 1947, he concluded: We do not really see with our eyes or hear with our ears. If we all saw with our eyes, we would see pretty much alike; we should differ only so far as retinal structure, eyeball structure, etc., differ. We differ much more widely than this because we see not only with our eyes, but also with our midbrain, our visual and associative centres, and with our systems of incipient behaviour, to which almost all visual perceiving leads.

[24] Sherman et al. ‘The Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed and Greed’, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: International Peace Academy, 2001, http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/ACF1AD.pdf (accessed 9 November 2007), p. 21.

[25] Guaqueta, A. ‘The Colombian Conflict: Political and Economic Dimensions’, in The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed & Grievance, edited by Karen Ballentine & Jake Sherman (Colorado USA, Lynne Rienner Publications, Inc, 2003), p. 73.  For detailed historical background please refer to the original text.  FARC: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, ELN: Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional. 

[26] Guaqueta, The Colombian, p. 73.

[27] Guaqueta, The Colombian, p. 96.

[28] Guaqueta, The Colombian, p. 96.

[29] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 14.

[30] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 14.

[31] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 1.

[32] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 19.  MPLA: Movimento Popular de Libertacao deAngola; FNLA: Frente Nacional de Libertacao deAngola; UNITA: Uniao Nacionale para a Independencia Total de Angola.

[33] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 24.

[34] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 19.

[35] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 23.

[36] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 19.

[37] Sherman et al. The Intersection, p. 19.  According to Philippe Le Billon diamond extraction and trade was facilitated by agreements between UNITA and MPLA military officers and officials, in some cases allegedly agreeing to exploit opposite banks of the same river.

[38] Sherman, J. ‘Burma: Lessons from the Cease-Fires’, in The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed & Grievance, edited by Karen Ballentine & Jake Sherman (Colorado USA, Lynne Rienner Publications, Inc, 2003), p. 233.

[39] Sherman, Burma, p. 227.

[40] Sherman, Burma, p. 233.

[41] Sherman, Burma, p. 238.

[42] Bennetto, J. ‘Street Prices Plummet as Use Reaches Epidemic Levels’ Independent on Sunday Online, 13 September 2006, http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article1523145.ece (accessed 18 November 2007). Burma’s contribution to Heroin production coming into the UK is open to debate.  However, it cannot be denied that international efforts to encourage democratisation in Burma have met with limited success in changing the behaviour of the SLORC’s military leadership; especially when offset by the damage to Western society that increased Heroin production continues to have.  This author can corroborate Bennetto’s assertion regarding the street price of Heroin which because of its wider availability and reduction in price is becoming increasingly attractive to young people with devastating consequences.

[43] Cottam et al. Introduction to Political Psychology. (USA, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004), p. 57.

[44] Stone, W. & Schaffner, P. The Psychology of Politics, (USA, Springer-Verlag, 1988), p. 114.

[45] Cottam, M. L. et al. Introduction, p. 39. Inter and Intra-group beliefs will cover a wide range of criteria such as political organisation, religion, culture, language, military capability, and economic structure.

[46] Cottam et al. Introduction, p. 278.

[47] Cottam et al. Introduction,p. 277.

[48] Cottam et al. Introduction,p. 277-280. The availability heuristic occurs when people try to predict the likelihood of something, based on the ease with which they can think of instances or examples of it.  The fundamental attribution error occurs when people attribute other people’s behaviour to internal, dispositional causes, rather than situational causes.  And groupthink occurs within groups, particularly at high levels that, in time, develop a pattern of interactions between group members, which emphasises the maintenance of group solidarity, and loyalty.  This emphasis upon group cohesion can lead to faulty group decision processes, or group malfunctions.

[49] Duckitt, J. ‘Prejudice and Intergroup Hostility’, in Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology edited by David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy & Robert Jervis (New York, Oxford University Press, Inc. 2003), p. 559. Social Psychologists identify the most significant component aspects of prejudice as negative stereotypes (cognitive component), negative feelings (affective component), and negative behavioural inclinations (behavioural component).  Taken together, they form the basis for intergroup evaluation. 

[50] Duckitt, Prejudice, p. 561. A more traditional approach to the definition of stereotypes sees them as necessarily incorrect, irrational, and ridged arising basically out of normal and adaptive cognitive processes, such as categorisation, that functions to reduce the complexity of social information processing.

[51] Cottam et al. Introduction, p. 44.

[52] Kressel, N. J. Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror. (USA, Westview Press Books, 2002), p. 211.

[53] Huddy, L. ‘Group Identity and Political Cohesion’, in Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology edited by David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy & Robert Jervis (New York, Oxford University Press, Inc. 2003), p. 519.  Social identity is a self-awareness of one’s objective membership in the group and a psychological sense of attachment to the group.  Social identity theory emphasises the political importance of symbolic concerns surrounding group status.  Psychologists draw attention to the cognitive and motivational factors involved which they describe as a need to differentiate their own groups positively from others to achieve a positive social identity.

[54] Herrmann, R. K. ‘Image Theory and Strategic Interaction in International Relations’, in Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology edited by David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy & Robert Jervis (New York, Oxford University Press, Inc. 2003), p. 291.

[55] Cottam et al. Introduction, p. 57.

[56] Staub, E & Bar-Tal, D. ‘Genocide, Mass Killing, and Intractable Conflict: Roots, Evolution, Prevention, and Reconciliation’, Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, edited by David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy & Robert Jervis (New York, Oxford University Press, Inc. 2003), p. 714.  Aspects of the need for security include: to feel that oneself, one’s family, important others, one’s whole group are safe from physical as well as psychological harm and that they will have food, shelter and other basic necessities for survival. 

[57] Staub & Bar-Tal. Genocide, p. 716.

[58] Staub & Bar-Tal. Genocide, p. 716.

[59] Staub & Bar-Tal. Genocide, p. 717.

[60] Annan, K. Interviewed in: Ghosts ofRwanda, A Frontline Production for PBS, Broadcast 1 April 2004 (United States).

Written by: James Boot
Written at: Lancaster University
Date written: 2008

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