Thursday, 3 December 2009

Do Human Rights Violations Cause Internal Conflict?

This article outlines a human rights framework for analyzing violent internal
conflict, by “translating” social-scientific findings about conflict risk factors into
human rights language. Discrimination and violations of social and economic
rights appear to function as underlying causes, creating the deep grievances and
group identities that may, under some circumstances, motivate collective
violence. Violations of civil and political rights, by contrast, are more clearly
identifiable as direct triggers. Abuse of personal integrity is associated with
conflict escalation, with intermediately repressive regimes most at risk. Denial of
political participation rights is associated with internal conflict insofar that full
democracies experience less conflict, but democratization itself is dangerous,
because regime transition is also a major risk factor.
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