The Psychology of Violent Conflict in Failing States – A Review of Scientific Literature

Psychologie des conflits violents au sein d'états en déroute – Analyse de publications scientifiques

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Authors
  1. Taylor, D.M.
  2. Wohl, M.J.A
  3. King, M.
  4. Etemadi, P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);McGill Univ, Montreal QUE (CAN)
Abstract
The Adversarial Intent Section of Defence Research and Development Canada – Toronto (DRDC Toronto) has been tasked with gaining a better understanding of the root causes of violent conflict perpetrated by armed non-state actors (ANSAs) in fragile and failing states. For this, DRDC Toronto has contracted two leading social psychologists in the field of intergroup relations who, together with their teams, have conducted an integrative review of the literature. The present report presents the results of this literature review, which is organized around six major social psychological theories that outline factors precipitating the development of conflict, factors maintaining conflict, and factors leading to stability. Recommendations intended to guide further research are provided, emphasizing perceptions of relative deprivation, group-based emotions, group identity, and collective narratives.

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Keywords
ANSA;Armed non-state actor;Social conflict;Social psychological theories;Relative deprivation theory;Realistic conflict theory;Group identity;Group emotions;Asymmetric Threat;Failed State;Irregular warfare;Intergroup relations;Resource distribution
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2010-186 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2011
Number of Pages
108
DSTKIM No
CA035257
CANDIS No
535003
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF)

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