Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Jeeten Giri

Second Advisor

Lori Marso


Culture and Civil War, Cultural Values and Violence, Hofstede Cultural Dimensions on Intrastate Violence, Primordialism Instrumentalism Constructivism, Ethnic Civil War, Ethnicity and Violence


FITZPATRICK, KEVIN R. The Incidence of Intrastate Conflict: An Empirical Study on Ethnicity and Values. Department of Economics and Political Science, June 2019.

ADVISORS: Jeeten Giri, Lori Marso

What best explains conflict? Why do societies engage in violence, or better yet, why are some societies more likely to fall victim towards internal instability and civil war? This paper seeks to better understand what factors offer the most explanatory power for intra-state violence. Utilizing Geert Hofstede’s 6-D model of cultural dimensions, I construct a data set incorporating intra-state data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program/Peace Research Institute of Oslo to determine which factors offer the best account for understanding the incidence of intra-state conflict and war. In doing so, the objective is to demonstrate whether certain national cultural values are more likely to indicate the proclivity of a state to succumb towards civil war, rather than ethnic, cultural, or religious diversity. All in all, this paper finds that both Hofstede’s power distance index and uncertainty avoidance index exhibit statistically significant results. While these findings are meaningful for reconsidering the role that ethnicity plays in intra-state conflict, there are some notable limitations of this analysis. In particular, quantifying a culture or ethnicity is far from simple, and remains contentious. Subsequently, while the first segment of this paper will focus predominately on the quantitative study, the second part of this paper will introduce a meta-analysis on the techniques used throughout. In doing so, this paper recognizes much of the quantitative limitations in aggregating the gap between proxies and reality, and consequently, seeks to discuss why more qualitative analysis will be needed in order to substantiate the legitimacy and robustness of this paper’s findings.

Available for download on Saturday, June 11, 2022