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Unformatted text preview: Summary Why do individuals choose to participate in civil war? Why do some individuals fight against the government while others defend the status quo? This study from the American Journal of Political Science tests the three major theories relating to participation using testimony from ex-combatants who participated in Sierra Leone's civil war. The results indicate the relevance of all three theories: grievance, selective incentives, and social sanctions, directing attention to the interaction between them. Factors such as poverty, a lack of access to education, and political alienation prove to be important in determining participation but the evidence suggests that they may indicate a general susceptibility to engage in violence or a greater vulnerability to political manipulation by elites rather than political grievances. Between 1991 and 2002 Sierra Leone suffered a bloody civil war. It is estimated that 50,000 people were killed while fighting, approximately 5 times the number of battle deaths in recent civil wars. Additionally, killed while fighting, approximately 5 times the number of battle deaths in recent civil wars....
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This note was uploaded on 11/24/2011 for the course ECON 345 taught by Professor Jakiela during the Fall '11 term at Maryland.
- Fall '11