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Nicholas Sambani’s “Do Ethnic and Non-Ethnic Civil Wars Have the Same Causes?” is one of the most fundamental journals necessary for the understanding of ethnic conflict and eruption civil wars across the world. By the use of an elaborate quantitative literature, Nicholas Sambani shows that large-scale political violence coupled with political and economic determinants are the key determinants of civil war. The author postulates that different categories of civil war, identity and non-identity, have different causes though they may be initiated by common political factors.

According to the journal,”Important differences do exist between ethnic/religious (identity) and non-identity wars” (Sambani, 2010, p. 3). The identity civil wars (religious and ethnic) erupts due to the prevailing ethnic conflicts that results from the impacts of ethnicity and mere existence of distinct ethnic groups and nationalities bound together by the strong ties of historical background, regional interests and ancestry. The journal associates negative ethnic heterogeneity related social constructs for instance tribalism with ethnic civil war. Sambani (2010), “finds a positive association between the level of ethnic heterogeneity and the onset of ethnic civil war” (p. 15).

Similarly, the journal traces the root causes of non-ethnic civil wars to the prevailing major political and economic factors such as regional imbalance, abuse of power, corruption within the public offices, political grievances and economic oppression of the majority by the minority ruling elites. These form the systemic variables that predominantly determine the non-identity civil wars. Nevertheless, the author goes on to add that incidences of overpopulation, scarcity of resources and civilization clashes could also help fuel the wars.

In conclusion, “Do Ethnic and Non-Ethnic Civil Wars Have the Same Causes?” provides a comprehensive account of the causes of ethnic and non-ethnic civil wars across the world- an information which is very vital in development of conflict management policies.

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