Economic grievance and the severity of civil war

Lingyu Lu, Cameron G. Thies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article examines the relationship between economic grievance and the severity of civil war. Theoretically, we create a testable micro-foundation for the association between economic grievance and conflict intensity. We argue that grievance does not lessen after the onset of civil war. Rather, pent-up grievance aggravates violence during the war. The more relative deprivation there is prior to the conflict, the more deadly and violently participants are expected to behave on the battlefield. This proposition is tested in a statistical analysis using the Armed Conflict Dataset (1960-92). Empirically, we demonstrate that economic grievance makes civil war more deadly. This effect is independent of the effect of ethnic grievance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-231
Number of pages17
JournalCivil Wars
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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