Mobilization and Conflict in Multiethnic States - Dr Vogt's new book

Why are some multiethnic countries more prone to civil violence than others? Dr Manuel Vogt’s new book, Mobilization and Conflict in Multiethnic States (2019), examines the occurrence and forms of conflict in multiethnic states. Focusing on the long-term legacies of European colonialism, the book presents two ideal-typical logics of ethnic group mobilization—one of violent competition and another of nonviolent emancipatory opposition.

Manuel introduces a theory that explains not only why ethnic groups rebel but also how they rebel. It shows that in extremely unequal societies, conflict typically occurs in non-violent forms because marginalized groups lack both the resources and the opportunities for violent revolt. In contrast, in more equal, but segmented multiethnic societies, violent conflict is more likely.

This exciting new work provides an empirical focus on both violent and non-violent conflict, combining statistical analyses with evidence from field research in four different countries, including over 150 in-depth interviews with key political and social actors.

Manuel is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at University College London (UCL). He is also the co-director in global security of UCL's Global Governance Institute and an affiliated researcher in the R4D project “Ethnic Power Relations and Conflict in Fragile States,” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).




Updates: Dr Zeynep Bulutgil

C&C member Dr Zeynep Bulutgil’s recent work was published in the Journal of Global Security Studies (JGSS). The article, titled “Prewar Domestic Conditions and Civilians in War”, reviews recent books on civilians in war that focus on prewar social, political, and institutional factors. Zeynep assesses the books’ contributions and offers ways in which these contributions can be refined by future research.

Zeynep’s general research interests focus on political violence, the relationship between religious and political institutions, as well as inequality and ethnic politics. To learn more about her work, visit her website.

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Prewar Domestic Conditions and Civilians in War

Abstract: In the past fifteen years, the study of civilians in war (i.e., violence against civilians as well as civilian strategies for survival during wars) has emerged as a research agenda separate from the study of the causes of wars. Up to now, this research agenda has largely been dominated by studies that emphasize the military balance of power or the nature of material resources available to the fighting parties. The books under review in this article push the literature on civilians in war significantly forward by focusing on prewar social, political, and institutional factors. Based on the findings of the books, this review essay identifies three such factors. First, the organizational skills that civilian leaders develop in the prewar period shape resistance against military actors during wars. Second, political party affiliation, revealed through prewar elections, influences the patterns of violence against civilians during wars. Finally, the dominant state ideology that precedes wars can impact both civilian victimization and the extent to which civilians can evade such violence. The article both assesses the books’ contributions and offers ways in which these contributions can be refined by future research. Read more.

Updates: Dr Melanie Garson

C&C member Dr Melanie Garson’s recent work was published in the Ethnopolitics Journal. In the article—titled “Defying Gravity: Evaluating the Trickle-Up Effects of Reconciliation Programmes”—Melanie draws on a unique collection of surveys and interviews of alumni of reconciliation activities and reconciliation entrepreneurs to explore the potential of reconciliation rippling and rising to transform conflict identities from the individual to society at large.

Melanie’s research generally focuses on the role of reconciliation in stabilising peace agreements and the reversal of conflict psychologies in protracted identity conflicts. She is particularly interested in the social-psychological dimensions of conflict and terrorism, processes of radicalisation and de-radicalisation, and the role of emerging technologies in conflict resolution.

Read the full article here.


The process by which grassroots reconciliation activities facilitate change in individual conflict identities gravitating upwards to shape other levels of society is often under-explained. In most aspects of the peacebuilding process impact is measured downwards, but reconciliation usually starts with micro-level attitudinal shifts rather than large-scale societal change. Yet, successful conflict resolution and reconciliation depends upon significant mass support. Therefore, the long-term success of reconciliation programmes lies in the paradoxical process of these individual changes simultaneously sinking into the heart of post-conflict societies, whilst rising to effect institutional change. Isolated group shifts need to both ripple outwards and trickle-upwards to shape decision-making processes and affect the course of the conflict. In order to evaluate the potential of reconciliation rippling and rising to transform conflict identities from the individual to society at large and above, the author draws upon a unique collection of surveys and interviews of alumni of reconciliation activities and reconciliation entrepreneurs in Israel-Palestine and Bosnia. The outcome of this research contributes to understanding the dynamic that facilitates the trickle-up effect of reconciliation, as well as providing practitioners with an evaluation mechanism to assess the impact of grassroots reconciliation programmes through its constituency building potential.

Dr Cronin-Furman speaks out against US migrant detention centers

C&C member Dr Kate Cronin-Furman has spoken out against US migrant detention centers on its southern border with Mexico.

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Kate argues that the treatment of migrants meets the definition of a ‘Mass Atrocity’. Drawing on her experience as a human rights lawyer and human rights academic, she outlines the possible consequences for those involved. In an article for Slate Magazine, Kate sides with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in describing the centers as “concentration camps” and explains why.

For more, follow Kate on Twitter @kcroninfurman.