This paper uses theoretical and empirical literature of various disciplines to develop a conceptual framework for explaining violent social conflicts. This interdisciplinary framework identifies crucial individual and social mechanisms, and suggests three constitutive sets of elements that define the “anatomy of violent civil conflicts”: (i) we begin by considering the role of socio-economic and political conditions and subjective mental states that trigger cognitive and emotional demands such as the demand for safety, order, social belongingness, and self-esteem. (ii) To satisfy the emerging demands and to manage accrued negative emotions and subjectively experienced conflicts, individuals tend to search for reconciliation strategies. While direct physical solutions might offer a practical approach, particular mind-sets tend to provide a cognitive framework to understand and evaluate social reality. They absorb accrued negative emotions and deliver narratives for identification with like-minded individuals who share a set of ideas, goals, guidelines and interpretations. But beyond peaceful ideas, ideologies can be aggressive and totalitarian, such as Religious Fundamentalism, Right-Wing Extremism or Racism, covering irrevocable and static dogmas. (iii) In this case, the dogmatic ideological framework presents a clear, focused and guiding image of the world, which shapes a rigid pattern of coherence and contrast and which is perceived as a vital resource for motivation and recruitment. To understand at first the decision-making process of individuals, it is of vital importance to combine rational economic thinking with the dynamic processes of external threats, social belongingness and individual psychologic dispositions.