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Chapter Summary

This chapter establishes a structural critique of the horizontal inequality approach (h.i.-approach). It explores circumstances under which the economic basis of this approach may not hold. This basis found particular expression in propositions 4 and 5. Thus, it consisted of the assumption that conflict evolves where worse-off perceptions loom, as the result of groups suffering from disproportionate economic grievances. The chapter shows that under particular socio-structural circumstances better-off perceptions can prevail and eradicate the ground for overt conflict. It is in these cases that hidden conflict becomes a reality. The h.i.-approach reveals an inability to cater for important structural factors in conflict, given the limited number of relative deprivation scenarios it recognizes. A major premise of this investigation has been that socio-economic factors, likely to influence potential for conflict, require analysis by means of one theory of interpretation.

Keywords: economic grievances; horizontal inequality approach (h.i.-approach); relative deprivation; worse-off perceptions



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