Settlement patterns and the intensity of violence in ethnic conflicts

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Authors
Tkachuk, Oleksandr
Subjects
Advisors
Blanken, Leo J.
Date of Issue
2010-12
Date
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
From the Second World War to the present, ethnic civil wars have continued to be a frequent and widespread phenomenon. Most of the existing literature on civil wars in general and ethnic conflict in particular is concerned with explaining onset of conflict, leaving the question of different intensity of violence under-researched. This thesis attempts to fill this gap by examining the link between structural conditions of ethnic conflicts and their violent outcomes. Specifically, it is argued that settlement patterns of conflicting ethnic groups may have explanatory power regarding different intensity of violence in conflict. Once distinct ethnic groups engage in conflict, their patterns of settlement present a strategic challenge for the warring parties. First, the more intermixed are the opponents' population bases, the harder it becomes to protect own population and the easier target opponent's population becomes. Second, interspersed ethnic groups are likely to produce abundance of small, disconnected and loosely organized militant units, which are virtually impossible to effectively manage and command, and subsequently control damage. The proposed hypotheses are tested using geospatial data on ethnic settlement patterns and through case studies. The evidence found during empirical analysis confirms that ethnic settlements have explanatory power regarding different intensity of inter-ethnic violence.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
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NPS Report Number
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Funder
Format
xvi, 147 p. : col. ill. ;
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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