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From Ethnicity to Class

January 5, 2011

From Ethnicity to Class
This paper reexamines greed versus grievance debates in ethnic conflicts over crude resources. Applying formal and statistical models and followed by process-tracing case studies on two African countries, Botswana and Nigeria, this paper argues that previous researches on greed and grievance in ethnic conflicts ignore the multi-dimensionality of social conflict and that adopting multiparty system create a platform for inter-ethnic class alliance between the riches in order to gain favorable tax rate for their economic gains from resource rents. Although low tax rates help to alleviate the minority poor’s grievance over inequitable distribution of rent revenue, by making class cleavage more salient, the class-based economic alliance also shift the structure of conflict from ethnic toward class conflict that provides a potential cause for civil war.

From → Working papers

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