Inside Insurgencies: Politics and Violence in an Age of Civil War-TARROW
For example, Collier and Hoeffler found significant correlations between civil wars
and high levels of primary commodity exports, large populations, low levels of
secondary education, low economic growth, low per capita income and the presence
of previous civil wars—all of which they assigned to the opportunity column.
In the grievance column, they found only that the lack of democracy was
significant, that inequality was insignificant but with the expected positive sign, and
that ethnic and religious fractionation were surprisingly unimportant.
When they combined both sets of proxies into a full model, they found that a model
that focused on the opportunities for rebellion performed well in predicting civil
war onset, whereas objective indicators of grievances added little explanatory
Opportunistic rebellions: where participation involves fewer risks, short-term
gains are more likely, and low commitment participants resemble consumers,
whose commitment to the organization is weak and who expect to be
rewarded immediately for their involvement. The modal participant is an
opportunist greed trumps grievances.
Activist rebellions: where participation is risky, short-term gains are unlikely,
and high-commitment participants resemble investors dedicated to the cause
of the organization and willing to make costly investments of time and risk-
taking in return for the promise of rewards in the future. The modal
participant is an investor and grievance trumps greed.
Country dependency on primary commodity export was significantly correlated with
civil war. Diamond predation in Sierra Leone and oil revenues in Biafra resonate
with this generalization.
Resource predation might be the result of pure greed or only a side product of
grievance. The lesson is clear, and Sambanis draws it repeatedly in his concluding
chapter: Resource predation is not a correlation but a mechanism, and the
correlation between the presence of natural resources and civil war is compatible
with several alternative mechanisms.
Why ethnic dominance should increase the chances of civil war while ethnic
fractionation does not leads us to the mechanisms that link ethnicity to violence.
One such mechanism might be mutual recognition between members of the same,
and of different, ethnic groups, a distinction that made Mali more prone to ethnic
conflict than Senegal
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