The international community is increasingly sensitive to civil conflict's contribution to cyclical patterns of poverty, humanitarian disasters, global lawlessness, and regional instability. Increasing levels of localized violence threaten severe spillover effects, such as preventing access to foreign trade outlets, undermining freedom of the seas and global commerce, and creating safe havens for terrorist development. This last concern in particular has prompted the United States to explore assuming more responsibility for controlling global civil conflict. Unfortunately, current understandings of the conditions that enable the outbreak and sustainability of civil conflict are incomplete and often contradictory. Employing robust quantitative and qualitative analysis of micro-level horizontal inequity, however, offers a promising policy-oriented approach to illuminating the underlying determinants of global civil conflict.
Author(s): Davin O'Regan