Essays on State-Building and Sectarian Violence

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Daugherty, Jared Fergus


Beardsley, Kyle

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This dissertation seeks to explain the role of governmental and non-governmental actors in increasing/reducing the emergence of intergroup conflict after war, when group differences have been a salient aspect of group mobilization. This question emerges from several interrelated branches of scholarship on self-enforcing institutions and power-sharing arrangements, group fragmentation and demographic change, collective mobilization for collectively-targeted violence, and conflict termination and the post-conflict quality of peace. This question is investigated through quantitative analyses performed at the sub-national, national, and cross-national level on the effect of elite competition on the likelihood of violence committed on the basis of group difference after war. These quantitative analyses are each accompanied by qualitative, case study analyses drawn from the American Reconstruction South, Iraq, and Cote d'Ivoire that illustrate and clarify the mechanisms evaluated through quantitative analysis.

Shared findings suggest the correlation of reduced political competition with the increased likelihood of violence committed on the basis of group difference. Separate findings shed light on how covariates related to control over rent extraction and armed forces, decentralization, and citizenship can lead to a reduction in violence. However, these same quantitative analyses and case study analysis suggest that the control of the state can be perceived as a threat after the end of conflict. Further, together these findings suggest the political nature of violence committed on the basis of group difference as opposed to ethnic identity or resource scarcity alone.

Together, these combined analyses shed light on how and why political identities are formed and mobilized for the purpose of committing political violence after war. In this sense, they shed light on the factors that constrain post-conflict violence in deeply divided societies, and contribute to relevant academic, policy, and normative questions.





Daugherty, Jared Fergus (2016). Essays on State-Building and Sectarian Violence. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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