- Journal Article
In a recent contribution to this journal, Richard McAlexander seeks to reanalyze Wucherpfennig, Hunziker, and Cederman’s “Who Inherits the State?” which instruments the effect of ethnic group inclusion on civil conflict by exploiting differences in colonial governance between the French and British empires. McAlexander proposes a research design that replaces the between-colony dimension of Wucherpfennig et al.’s comparison with a continuous measure of indirect rule that varies between British colonies. We show that McAlexander’s study hardly poses a viable reanalysis because his approach is compromised by problems of ecological inference and posttreatment confounding, leading to biased inference by design. We propose a more informative reanalysis, indicating that British colonialism built on suitable customary institutions, unlike the French empire. Although tentative, our analytical extension lends support to Wucherpfennig et al.’s original findings, most importantly that inclusion reduces the risk of postcolonial civil conflict. Show more
Journal / seriesThe Journal of Politics
Pages / Article No.
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Subjectethnic inclusion; civil conflict; colonialism; customary institutions; endogeneity
Organisational unit03649 - Cederman, Lars-Erik / Cederman, Lars-Erik
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