Public Dissatisfaction & the
Conflict Behavior of States
A Theory Reconstruction with an Empirical Application
By Birger Heldt
Uppsala University Press
146 pages, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"
$34.50 Paper Original
OUT OF PRINT
This dissertation addresses the problem of how public dissatisfaction is connected to the conflict behavior of states with regard to causal paths, intervening variables and conditions. The study uses previous theories on the relationship to extract assumptions and concepts. After having formulated an explicit assumption and explicated the key concepts, these properties are used for a deductive reconstruction of the relationship between public dissatisfaction and the conflict behavior of states. The theory reconstruction results in a new indirect relationship between public dissatisfaction and the conflict behavior of states. It is also found that the terms previously used to denote the relationships were no longer applicable to this new relationship.
In a first limited attempt to falsify the reconstructed theory, it is applied to the conflict behavior of states in intra-state conflicts over territory. It is investigated whether levels of public dissatisfaction influence the conflict behavior of states with regard to defensive conflict behavior. A hypothesis is formulated for the following empirical puzzle: why does a country agree to yield to a territory to a non-state actor a certain year, while it refused to do so the preceding year? The temporal domain of the study covers 1947-90 while the spatial domain is global. 96 cases are studied. The statistical results support the hypothesis and thus indicate that public dissatisfaction has influenced the defensive conflict behavior of states. However, it could only be inferred that public dissatisfaction delayed the granting of independence for a year or two.
Uppsala University Department of Peace & Conflict Research, Report No. 44
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