Buying war not peace: The influence of corruption on the risk of ethnic war

Natascha S. Neudorfer, Ulrike G. Theuerkauf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents robust findings for the positive effect of corruption on the risk of ethnic civil war, using binary time-series-cross-section data that cover 87 to 121 countries (per year) between 1984 and 2007. Following a grievance-based explanation of violent intrastate conflict, we argue that corruption increases the risk of large-scale ethnic violence, as it creates distortions in the political decision-making process which lead to a deepening of political and economic inequalities between different ethnic groups. The positive effect of corruption on the risk of ethnic civil war is robust to various model specifications, including the interaction between corruption and natural resource wealth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1856-1886
Number of pages31
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number13
Early online date27 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • corruption
  • informal political institutions
  • political exclusion
  • civil wars
  • ethnic violence

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