Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ethnic Conflict Stoked By Government Economic Intervention, Not Globalization, Study Finds

Date:
September 30, 2008
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Economic globalization and liberalization have been blamed for numerous social ills over the last two decades, including a sharp rise in interethnic violence in countries all over the world. Not so, say the results of a study conducted by researchers from McGill University and published in the current issue of the journal International Studies Quarterly.

Economic globalization and liberalization have been blamed for numerous social ills over the last two decades, including a sharp rise in interethnic violence in countries all over the world. Not so, say the results of a study conducted by researchers from McGill University and published in the current issue of the journal International Studies Quarterly.

In fact, according to Dr. Stephen Saideman and his former McGill Master's student David Steinberg – now pursuing his doctorate at Northwestern University – the more government intervention there is in the local economy, the more likely interethnic violence and rebellion becomes. Conversely, the more economically open a society is, the less likely such violence becomes.

"Our study counters the idea that a liberalized economy is worse for ethnic groups. Minorities are more likely to be on the outside of the political system," explained Saideman, associate professor and associate director of graduate studies in the Department of Political Science, and Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict. "So, if the government is involved in the economy, minorities are more likely to be affected by the whims of the state than by the whims of the market."

Utilizing their own original research, along with the Minorities at Risk dataset compiled by their colleagues at the University of Maryland, Steinberg and Saideman's results show that government intervention in the economy leads to a spiral of political competition among groups to gain control of the state and the economic spoils it distributes.

"Thus groups on the outs feel threatened because they have no control, which can lead to open rebellion," Saideman said, "while those who are in power become terrified of losing control, as occurred in Serbia. Before the war the Serbs controlled a large hunk of the Yugoslav political system and it was their fear of losing it that led to war."

Moreover, the researchers said, their results were reasonably consistent in virtually every society they studied, regardless of political system.

"We're not just talking about command economies like the old Soviet Union or Yugoslavia," he said. "We control for regime type, so whether a country is a democracy or not, statistically and probabilistically, the more government involvement there is in the economy, the more likely ethnic conflict is."

Though interethnic violence is somewhat more likely to occur in less-developed economies, Saideman said, similar interventions even in the industrialized world have the potential to sow serious intergroup tensions.

"Ironically, look at how the government of the United States is now in the process of buying up a large hunk of the economy to bail out Wall Street," he said. "In the future this will give people who are denied loans or who have other economic grievances an incentive to blame the government. They won't consider factors like oil shocks and housing bubbles, it will all be laid on the government's doorstep."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Ethnic Conflict Stoked By Government Economic Intervention, Not Globalization, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080929144118.htm>.
McGill University. (2008, September 30). Ethnic Conflict Stoked By Government Economic Intervention, Not Globalization, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080929144118.htm
McGill University. "Ethnic Conflict Stoked By Government Economic Intervention, Not Globalization, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080929144118.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins