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265 - Week 12 – Lecture 1 – Civil Wars.docx

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Department
Sociology (Arts)
Course
SOCI 265
Professor
John Anthony Hall
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 12 – Lecture 1 – 18/11/2013 Sociology 265 – War, States and Social Change Civil Wars Ethnic conflict = subset of civil wars When domestic political struggle takes the form of military confrontation (armed combat taking place within the boundaries of a recognised political entity under one authority) = better term: internal war (not many involve civilian vs. civilian: usually state vs. armed guerrilla group/rebels/’terrorists’) Why are civil wars important? = majority of wars since WW2 have been within states; direct human cost of the wars is about 20- 25 million directly killed from warfare; other factors like famine, genocide, displacement would drive the total much higher - distinction between inter-state and civil war blurs somewhat when there are ethnic aspects whilst sometimes other nations can become involved e.g. Vietnam Different types of civil wars? - ethnic conflict = one subset - way of division? = revolutionary, ethnic, resource-based civil wars - OR civil wars occurring after failed coups e.g. Spain; civil wars resulting from the collapse of Yugoslavia or USSR = clearly multiple ways to divide civil wars into groups depending if the concentration is on causes, how they escalate - another general distinction = ethnic vs. non-ethnic civil wars = clearly divides sets of mechanisms Why do they happen? 1) economistic explanation ▯ all types of civil wars are caused by the same elements/function of economic developments; either related to poverty or other elements of greed a. Collier and Hoffmer = looking at all post-ww2 conflicts there are grievances in general which do not matter when considering poverty and national resources; greed vs. grievance arguments w. elements of greed explaining more why civil wars occur b. Conditions which favour insurgency and warfare = cause civil war; low GDP especially = all sets of civil wars – ethnic, resource based, poverty – are based on the notion that a small set of people w. a business model e.g. drug trafficking, ability to manipulate natural resources, can wage civil war 2) Security issue dilemma arises = when a state collapses if there are two or more politicised groups w/o a third party to control the situation, there may be a credible commitment agreement where the minority might think that in the absence of former institutional arrangements, the other side will no longer honour their agreements - may start a security development issue where one side arms and the other reacts to this threat post-ww2 period = so many civil wars: landscape with weak states that are unable to provide basic services; situation coming out of decolonisation; USSR and Yugoslavia collapsed thus bringing about these issues also - when there is a weak state that is not able to provide basic services e.g. health care and education, creates many grievances; as the institution to which these grievances are directed becomes the scapegoat if not the reason behind these grievances - it also legitimises any kind of rebellion against a weak state; corrupt states are even more susceptible to these rebellions whilst the opportunity cost of organising rebellion against these states is also more legitimised = the existence of civil war itself, is evidence for the notion that this is a weak state to begin with… 3) ethnicity based motivations = quite a percentage of civil wars are ethnic civil wars a. most prolonged civil wars have an ethnic component b. security dilemma with ethnic issues is more prominent than in other civil wars if the elites are divided along ethnic lines = there is a high potential for infighting and secession groups is there something unique regarding ethnic based civil wars and economistic civil wars? - state-driven explanation – there are certain elements and mechanisms in place during an ethnic conflict that differentiate them from economics based civil wars o different
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