Globalisation and Conflict: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa

Working paper 634
Carolyn Chisadza and Manoel Bittencourt
Publication date: 
September, 2016
International Development Policy
Stephen Pinker (2011) advances that various forms of violence such as homicide, rape, torture and con‡ict have decreased over time because of the following historical shifts in society: paci…cation process, civilising process, humanitarian and rights revolutions, and extended periods of peace. We regard these shifts as processes encompassed in globalisation and investigate the effects of globalisation on confl‡ict, one of the forms of violence Pinker discusses. We use panel data from 46 sub-Saharan African countries dated 1970 to 2013 and fi…nd that increased globalisation signi…cantly reduces severity of confl‡ict through increased opportunity costs. Furthermore, we disaggregate globalisation into its three key components (social, political and economic openness) and fi…nd that social globalisation drives the results, an indication of the significance of increased migration and dissemination of information in fostering tolerance and empathy. We also disaggregate confl‡ict into intrastate and interstate and …find that the severity of intrastate con‡flict is signi…cantly reduced by the globalisation processes compared to interstate confl‡ict.
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