Self identified ethnic fractionalization: Instrumental ethnicity and conflict
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis is concerned with the popular and academic notion of ethnic conflict. The first section approaches both theory and empirics with a critical perspective. It concludes that the current approach, the ethnic conflict research program as it were, is degenerative in nature, as it is marred by theoretical inconsistencies and a lack of empirical validity. As a result of identifying the core problem of the research program - the discrepancy between theories of instrumental ethnicity and the empirical tests thereof, a new measure of ethnicity is suggested and then employed in an empirical test. SIEF, Self Identified Ethnic Fractionalization, arguably captures instrumental ethnicity more so than previous measures, and it is hypothesized that the nature of ethnicity as reflected by SIEF will yield innovative results that run counter to current findings. Though current data limitations maintain this measure in its infancy and add a nontrivial amount of uncertainty around the findings of the SIEF models, it is nonetheless concluded that marginal increases in instrumental ethnic fractionalization do indeed appear to increase the probability of civil conflict. Because this finding is both innovative and initial, suggestions as to the future of research into instrumental ethnicity are made. This paper concludes on a methodological and theoretical note, calling for empirical rigor and a consistent link between theory and empirics.