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Are Muslim countries more prone to violence?

Research & Politics. 2016;3 DOI 10.1177/2053168016646392

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Research & Politics

ISSN: 2053-1680 (Online)

Publisher: SAGE Publishing

LCC Subject Category: Political science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB

 

AUTHORS


Nils Petter Gleditsch (Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Oslo, Norway)

Ida Rudolfsen (Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

In recent years, most armed conflicts have taken place in Muslim countries. Are Muslim countries more war-prone? Not necessarily, if we look at data for the whole period after World War II. But in the post-Cold War era, most wars are civil wars and Muslim countries have a disproportionate share of these. This is not mainly because conflicts among Muslims have increased, but because other conflicts have declined. Muslim countries are also overrepresented among countries with high levels of other forms of internal violence, including non-state conflict, one-sided violence, highly repressive human rights policies, and countries that practice capital punishment. They also have a higher than average participation in interstate conflicts. This is not a “clash of civilizations”—most of the victims are Muslims. We list several hypotheses, apart from religion itself, for why this pattern has emerged, including colonial history, interventions from major powers, and economic and political development. Finally, on a more optimistic note, while many Muslims are exposed to violence, four of the five countries with the largest Muslim populations do not currently experience civil war.