Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Lewis Davis




civil war, political dissent, social conditions & trends, conflict resolution


This thesis explores the connection between ethnic diversity and constitutional structures on the incidence of civil war. The following paper will bridge the gap between existing economic literature on constitutions and the existing work on civil wars. The main economic theory behind civil war is a cost-benefit analysis. Costs of civil wars include raising an army supporting the army economic losses due to conflict and the lives lost in the fighting itself while the main benefit is the gains of governing. The other main economic theory to civil war is game theory exploring how the two sides engaging in civil war react to different situations. This paper uses multiple sources of data in order to test whether a relationship exists between ethnic diversity constitutional structures and civil war. One of the main questions this paper asks is whether political representation can offset high ethnic tensions and prevent civil war? Interaction terms between ethnic diversity and constitutional structures were used to determine if the two variables combine to affect the incidence of civil war. Taking the derivative of the interaction terms results can add to the discussion about whether or not a tradeoff exists between representation and accountability. The results found that ethnic fragmentation significantly increases the incidence of civil war majoritarian governments decrease civil war compared to having a proportional representative system and could not find any significant relationship between ethnic diversity and constitutional structure combining to effect civil conflict.