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Inside the Politics of Self-Determination$
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Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199364909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199364909.001.0001

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Civil War Over Self-Determination

Civil War Over Self-Determination

(p.101) Chapter 5 Civil War Over Self-Determination
Inside the Politics of Self-Determination

Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines when self-determination (SD) groups and states cannot achieve successful bargains over the status of the group and engage in civil war. Conflict prevention entails compromise that satisfies both the state and most, if not all, of the SD group factions. Barriers to credible commitments and uncertainty about what deal might actually “resolve” the dispute with all parties play a large role in determining when war will break out. As the theory developed in the book suggests, moderately divided states are better able to avoid war, but highly divided SD groups are prone to conflict with the state. Both the large-n statistical analysis and the comparative case studies of northeast Indian SD groups show that the internal structure of states and SD groups have substantial effects on the occurrence of civil war.

Keywords:   civil war, conflict prevention, bargaining, internal structure, statistical analysis, northeast India, SD groups

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