Modernization, Inequality, and Ethnic Civil Conflicts


Recent studies have revealed that the inequality between different ethnic groups can better explain and predict the onset of ethnic civil conflicts than traditional inequality indicators do. Based on their findings, this article uses the modernist theory on nationalism to further illustrate the mechanism of the horizontal inequality on ethnic civil conflicts. Introducing the modernist nationalism’s dimension, this article finds that with the increase of the degree of modernization, the positive effect of political horizontal inequality on the possibility of ethnonationalist civil conflict onset increases, while horizontal inequality’s effect diminishes in the less modernized countries. This finding matches the expectation of the modernist theory on nationalism, providing a better understanding about ethnonationalist civil conflicts in the context of horizontal inequality.





Wang, Zhipeng (2021). Modernization, Inequality, and Ethnic Civil Conflicts. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.