Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Thurber, Ches

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


The thesis examines the relationship between neopatrimonial regimes, those with institutionalized patronage networks, high levels of regime corruption, and single authoritarian leaders, and civil conflict. The primary emphasis of this research, borrowing from the understanding of horizontal inequalities among groups, is to present three theoretical mechanisms by which grievances may diffuse in a manner to mobilize resistance in non-ethnic civil conflict. This approach focuses mainly on attempting to disaggregate authoritarian regime qualities which may contribute to grievance diffusion. A current psychological understanding of ethnic conflict focuses heavily on the perception of group-grievances as a prerequisite to armed, organized conflict against a state. This paper seeks to present a similar theory of non-ethnic conflict. Findings indicate two primary contributions. First, neopatrimonialism is statistically and substantively significant in predictive models as a correlate of civil conflict. Secondly, based on the theoretical understanding of neopatrimonialism and group-grievances, this test indicates neopatrimonialism may create divisions among sub-groups of the population, those included in party networks and those outside of the political networks, and that the concept of horizontal inequalities may be tested outside the context of ethnic civil conflict.


65 pages




Northern Illinois University

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