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|All Authors / Contributors:||Barbara F Walter|
|Notes:||Table 1. Analysis of factors affecting the likelihood of a violent self-determination challenge (rare event logistic regression)
Table 2. Relative risk of a violent self-determination challenge
Table 3. The determinants of violent self-determination: Additional measures of a government's past behavior (rare event logistic regression)
Table 4. The determinants of violent self-determination: Alternative measures of ethnic group challengers (rare event logistic regression)
Appendix: Descriptive Statistics
Since 1980 almost half of all armed conflicts have been fought between governments and ethnic minority groups over self-determination, yet surprisingly little is known about when and why these conflicts occur. The few studies that do exist focus on the deep injustices and structural conditions that may cause some groups to seek greater autonomy or independence and others not. I argue that ethnic groups are much more strategic than current theories allow. Ethnic groups decide whether to challenge based in part on whether the government has made concessions in the past, and whether the government can be expected to do so again in the future. Data on all ethnic groups for the years 1940 to 2000 reveal that ethnic groups are significantly more likely to seek self-determination if the government has acquiesced to an earlier group of separatists, and if the government is unlikely to encounter additional ethnic challengers in the future. Grievances and opportunity matter, but so does the larger strategic environment in which the government and its ethnic groups operate.