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Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Caruso, Raul

Ed. by Bove, Vincenzo / Kibris, Arzu / Sekeris, Petros

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Volume 20, Issue 4


Volume 24 (2018)

Volume 17 (2011)

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Volume 1 (1993)

A Typology of Mass Political Violence

Eelco van der Maat
Published Online: 2014-10-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2014-0041


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.

Keywords: conflict; violence; genocide; indiscriminate; selective


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About the article

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

Published Online: 2014-10-10

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 20, Issue 4, Pages 685–695, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, ISSN (Print) 1079-2457, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2014-0041.

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