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Fighting with faith – Religion and conflict resolution a in civil wars

Svensson, I. (2007). “Fighting with faith – Religion and conflict resolution a in civil wars.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 51(6): 930-949.
A growing literature has started to explore the relationship between religious dimensions and the escalation, duration, and termination of armed conflicts. This study explores the conditions for negotiated settlements. The author argues that if the belligerents’ demands are explicitly anchored in a religious tradition, they will come to perceive the conflicting issues as indivisible, and the conflict will be less likely to be settled through negotiations. Utilizing unique data on the primary parties’ religious demands and identities, all intrastate conflict-dyads in the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), 1989-2003, are examined. The study finds that if governments or rebel-groups have made explicit religious claims, these conflict-dyads are significantly less likely than others to be terminated through negotiated settlement. By contrast, whether the primary parties come from different religious traditions does not affect the chances for negotiated settlement.


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