Intra-State Wars

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Intra-State Wars

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah documents the author’s memories as a child soldier living in Sierra Leone. The book stands as a voice for more than 300, 000 children soldiers who remain to be part of various ongoing wars around the world in today’s world. Additionally, Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza is a story that explains the experience that the citizens went through during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 (pg 51). The two books therefor explains in details the various challenges and hardships that children as well as well as the citizens of any country face whenever there is internal conflict (Sarkees et al 52). There are various inequalities and differences that contribute to intra-state wars in various countries around the world. The aim of this paper is to discuss various inequalities and differences to intra-state wars.

Majority of the groups of people who come together to fight against other groups in the same country perceive themselves to belong to a unified culture that makes them belong together. These common cultures are based on either religious or ethnic backgrounds. As such, part of the reasons as to why they fight is the aggressive desire to maintain these cultural anatomies. As such, there is an established tendency to associate wars with primordial ethnic passions. This in turn makes them intractable. However, this belief tends to be incorrect and diverts the real attention from the main factors which are political and economic triggers (Schlichte 34).

As much as individual cultures are partly inherited, they are also chosen and constructed (Stewart 343). Majority of the ethnic communities in Africa that currently seem strong were once invented by colonial regimes for administrative purposes. During wars, political leaders deliberately rework historical memories which in turn strengthen or engender this established identity in the process of competing for resources and power. A good example is the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda. In this regard, there are four economic hypotheses that explain intra-states wars. They are based on environmental degradation, private motivation, group motivation as well as failure of social contract.

The group motivation hypothesis is based on the belief that intra-state wars consist of wars based on resentment and ambitions between opposing groups. As such, these provide an adequate motivation for war. These groups are usually divided along religious and cultural lines, either by class or geography. In this regard, relatively deprived groups seek, or are persuaded by leaders to seek redress. When political redress is not arrived at, war arises. On the other hand, environmental degradation is also referred to as Green war hypothesis and is associated with land disputes. As such, scarcity of water and land provokes conflict (Yilmaz 13).

Additionally, failure of social contract and private motivation contribute to intra-state wars. Social contract is based on the perception that social stability relies on a perceived social contract between the government and the people. With worsening state services and economic decline, wars are bound to arise. Additionally, private motivation hypothesis relies on the assumption that war confers certain benefits on various individuals and costs among other people. Young uneducated men view it as an opportunity to secure employment as soldiers (Yilmaz 22). In conclusion, all these factors are responsible for intra-state wars in many countries across the world.

Works Cited

Sarkees, Meredith Reid, Frank Whelon Wayman, and J. David Singer. “Inter-state, intra-state, and extra-state wars: A comprehensive look at their distribution over time, 1816–1997.” International Studies Quarterly 47.1 (2013): 49-70.

Schlichte, Klaus. “State formation and the economy of intra-state wars.” Shadow Globalization, Ethnic Conflicts and New Wars. A political economy of intra-states wars. London, Routledge (2013): 27-44.

Stewart, Frances, Douglas Holdstock, and Antonio Jarquin. “Root causes of violent conflict in developing countriesCommentary: Conflict—from causes to prevention?.” bmj 324.7333 (2012): 342-345.

Yilmaz, Muzaffer Ercan. “Intra-state conflicts in the post-cold war era.” International Journal on World Peace (2007): 11-33.