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 unexpectedly found that higher rates of economic growth were robustly correlated with higher rates of social violence.
Working Paper No. 72 (series 2), London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 29 pp.