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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 10, 2014

A Typology of Mass Political Violence

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Traditional distinctions of mass political violence (i.e., interstate war, civil war, and genocide) seem to insufficiently capture underlying causal mechanisms. In order to better capture these mechanisms, this paper provides an innovative typology of mass political violence. By introducing mass violence as a product of between-group as opposed to within-group competition, this paper arrives at four observably distinct types of political violence. The paper demonstrates that episodes of mass political violence that at first glance seem to be similar are actually very different and should be treated as such.

Corresponding author: Eelco van der Maat, Department of Political Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA, E-mail:


I would like to thank Giacomo Chiozza, Ismene Gizelis, Michaela Mattes, Kristian Gleditsch, and the editor in particular for their insightful comments and constructive criticisms.


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Published Online: 2014-10-10
Published in Print: 2014-12-1

© 2014 by De Gruyter

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