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Evaluating the Motivation and Feasibility Theory in Predicting the Onset and Severity of Civil Conflict

By Ishita Chordia

This paper looks at 187 countries from 1960-2004 and explores the economic indicators of the onset and the severity of civil conflicts, where civil conflicts are described as small clashes that result in 25 or more battle deaths per conflict. For conflict onset, I test a model that uses the Motivation Theory to predict when a conflict will begin while for conflict severity. I test a model that uses the Feasibility Theory to predict how severe a conflict will become. In the final section, I reverse the models and test the ability of the Motivation Theory to predict conflict severity and the ability of the Feasibility Theory to predict conflict onset. I find that the Motivation Theory performs ber at predicting both conflict onset and severity.

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JEL Codes: F51, F52, O57 | Tagged: Conflict, Feasibility, International Security, Motivation, Peace

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