Explaining Ethnic Peace

Grants and Contracts Details


How have some countries with intense, ethnic political competition managed to escape the violence that plagues many other multi-ethnic polities? This proposal seeks to answer this question with a controlled comparison among three Caribbean countries; a combination of sub-national and cross-national comparison; and a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. Based on the case of Jamaica, where non-ethnic partisan violence was prevalent for several decades but has declined, this proposal develops a theory that ethnic violence is shaped by social and political relationships—specifically the nature of clientelistic exchanges and civil society activity. While these factors have combined in a way that perpetuates ethnic violence in Guyana, they have left Trinidad with relatively peaceful ethnic politics. This theory generates novel hypotheses which will be tested using sub-national quantitative data and matching methods to analyze local levels of violence in Guyana and identify matched non-violent localities in Trinidad. Further hypothesis testing will be accomplished with in-depth qualitative field work in targeted localities in all three countries. The results of this analysis will provide novel insights into the causes of ethnic violence, and possibilities for ethnic peace which should be generalizeable to a number of fragile democracies in the developing world.
Effective start/end date9/1/16 → 8/31/18


  • National Science Foundation: $25,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.