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The Horizontal Inequality Approach

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Chapter Summary

This chapter targets a number of key premises of the horizontal inequality approach (h.i.- approach), so as to prepare the ground for a series of critiques. The integrated approach that characterizes the h.i.-approach made it necessary to reexamine political economy's three major schools. The h.i.-approach integrates aspects of all these schools into one comprehensive political economy of conflict. Five propositions are designed to systematize the h.i.-approach in present conflict debates. For convenience purposes, all five propositions are put ahead. Concretely, they are the following ones: (1) Conflict is a matter of organized groups, (2) Conflict groups are primordial, (3)Symbolic factors beget stereotyping, economic factors beget conflict, (4) Economic deprivation is relative, (5) Conflict perpetuates group leadership and class structures and (6) Conflict remains internal. Each proposition is weighed and examined against the backdrop of political economy's three major schools.

Keywords: horizontal inequality approach (h.i.- approach); internal conflict; organized group conflict; political economy; primordial groups; relative deprivation



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