CSRC Working Paper 72

'The Political Economy of Social Violence: theory and evidence from a cross-country study'
Working Paper No : 72 (series 2)
Author: Sean Fox and Kristian Hoelscher
Date : April 2010

Why are some countries more prone to social violence than others? Drawing on theoretical and empirical insights from the fields of political economy, sociology and criminology, this paper develops and tests an holistic theory of social violence that accounts for political-institutional, socio-economic and socio-demographic factors. The paper concludes that hybrid political regimes, political-institutional volatility, poverty, inequality and ethnic diversity are associated with higher rates of social violence. However, the authors also found that higher rates of economic growth were robustly correlated with higher rates of social violence.

Sean Fox is a Research Associate with the Crisis States Research Centre and co-author of the book "Cities and Development".

Kristian Hoelscher is a Research Assistant with the Centre for the Study of Civil War at the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo, where he works on issued involving youth, demography and conflict.