The Conflict Process: A Formal Model

  • Lichbach M
  • Gurr T
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Abstract

This article proposes and tests a self-generative theory of conflict processes within nations. We dissect the "conflict breeds conflict" truism into three hypotheses: (1) the present extent of conflict simultaneously determines its intensity, while the present intensity of conflict determines its future extent; (2) the present extent of protest determines the present extent of rebellion and vice versa; and (3) the extent and intensity of both protest and rebellion persist over time. Our principal findings are: (1) man-days of protest is a weak positive and linear function of simultaneous man-days of rebellion and lagged man-days of protest; (2) deaths from protest is a strong curvilinear function of simultaneous man-days of protest; (3) man-days of rebellion is a weak positive and linear function of simultaneous man-days of protest and lagged man-days of rebellion, and a U-shaped function of lagged deaths from rebellion; (4) deaths from rebellion is a strong exponential function of present man-days of rebellion, and a linear and positive function of lagged deaths from protest and from rebellion. We conclude that the self-generative model provides a less-than-sufficient explanation of variations in internal conflict.

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Authors

  • Mark Irving Lichbach

  • Ted Robert Gurr

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