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Redemption through Rebellion: Border Change, Lost Unity, and Nationalist Conflict
- Journal Article
Are past border changes responsible for today's civil wars? Departing from conventional, state-centric research designs, this article examines this question by focusing on “aggregate” ethnic groups, which are defined independently of state borders. Introducing a new index of “territorial fractionalization” that measures how fragmented such groups are across states, we postulate that higher fragmentation is linked to a greater risk of civil conflict. Furthermore, we expect that groups that experienced increases in fragmentation are particularly violence prone, as illustrated by postimperial revisionism and other cases of irredentism and secession. To test our arguments, we combine geocoded data on ethnic settlement areas with our own newly collected data on international borders since 1886, complemented by mediation analysis based on ethnonationalist claims. Covering ethnic groups around the world since 1946 through 2017, our findings are robust to the inclusion of control variables, fixed effects, and the use of alternative historical ethnicity data sets. Show more
Journal / seriesAmerican Journal of Political Science
Organisational unit03649 - Cederman, Lars-Erik / Cederman, Lars-Erik
156339 - Causes and Consequences of Irredentism (SNF)
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