High rates of unemployment does not decrease insurgent attacks against government, allied forces

May 09, 2011

Despite contrary belief, reducing unemployment in locations with active insurgencies does not decrease the rate of insurgent attacks against government and allied forces. Additionally, it was found that unemployment in these same locations also had no impact in reducing the deaths of civilians.

A new study released in the recent issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution (published by SAGE) found that there is no correlation that aiding countries with high rates of unemployed leads to a decrease in political violence. Additionally, the study found there is no significant relationship between and the rate of insurgent attacks that kill civilians.

"The vast majority of aid money spent to reduce political violence is motivated by an opportunity-cost theory of distracting recruits," wrote the researchers. "…(however) the data emphatically reject a positive correlation between unemployment and attacks against government and allied forces."

The authors test that prediction in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines, using survey data on unemployment and two newly available measures of insurgency: (1) attacks against government and allied forces and (2) violence that kill . Despite the great differences in geography, nature and intensity of insurgencies, the results from all three countries was remarkably similar.

In light of recent worldwide events, "a better understanding of how, when, and where aid spending helps reduce political violence will both further our understanding of insurgencies, while helping to guide practitioners in applying limited development aid in conflict and post-conflict societies."

Explore further: The psychology of gift-giving and receiving

More information: jcr.sagepub.com/content/early/… 393920.full.pdf+html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why rebel groups attack civilians

May 29, 2008

In civil war, rebel groups often target civilians despite the fact that their actual target is the government and that they are often dependent on the support of the civilian groups they attack. This may seem illogical, but ...

Men who lose their jobs at greater risk of dying prematurely

Apr 04, 2011

Research by McGill Sociology Professor Eran Shor, working in collaboration with researchers from Stony Brook University, has revealed that unemployment increases the risk of premature mortality by 63 per cent. Shor reached ...

Recommended for you

The psychology of gift-giving and receiving

22 minutes ago

Gift exchanges can reveal how people think about others, what they value and enjoy, and how they build and maintain relationships. Researchers are exploring various aspects of gift-giving and receiving, such as how givers ...

Strong neighborhood ties can help reduce gun violence

2 hours ago

The bonds that tie a neighborhood together can help shield community members from gun violence, according to new findings by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.