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Ethnic conflict: Government enhanced?

MONTREAL, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A Canadian study suggests ethnic conflict is fueled by government economic intervention and not globalization, which has been blamed for many social ills.

McGill University Associate Professor Stephen Saideman and his former master's student David Steinberg said they determined intergroup violence is more likely when government intercedes in a nation's economy.

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Saideman says the more government intervention there is in the local economy, the more likely inter-ethnic violence and rebellion becomes.

Utilizing their own original research, along with the Minorities at Risk dataset compiled at the University of Maryland, Steinberg and Saideman's results show government intervention in the economy leads to increased political competition among groups to gain control of the state and the economic spoils it distributes.

"Thus groups on the outs feel threatened because they have no control, which can lead to open rebellion," Saideman said, "while those who are in power become terrified of losing control …"

The study appears in the journal International Studies Quarterly.

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