Micro-Level Studies

Authored by: Nils B. Weidmann

Routledge Handbook of Civil Wars

Print publication date:  February  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415622585
eBook ISBN: 9780203105962
Adobe ISBN: 9781136255786


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The key to understanding social phenomena at the macro-level is often the individuals and interactions at the micro-level. What Coleman (1990) formulated in his famous “bathtub” model has become a widespread perspective across many areas of social science research. While many would acknowledge the existence of these micro-mechanisms, and sometimes make them part of their theoretical frameworks, until a few years ago there had been few attempts to scrutinize them empirically. The need to do so has given rise to a new research field, the micro study of civil war, which has seen a tremendous growth in recent years. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of this research field, the questions it addresses, the methods and data it employs, and the results it has generated. At the same time, the chapter seeks to identify the shortcomings and gaps that will spur future work in this area.

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