Chapter 13International Information Flows, Government Response and the Contagion of Ethnic Conflict

Janina Beiser

13.1 Introduction

In today's world, the interdependence between states is ever-increasing. Contemporary states are linked by complex trade networks, by development aid and by mutual memberships in intergovernmental organisations. This increasing international interdependence is also reflected by increasing global information flows (Mowlana, 1997). The consequences of increasing information from even distant regions of the world with respect to security-related questions have been investigated little. This chapter explores global dynamics through a study of the impact of mass media based information flows on two forms of political violence that threaten the security and well-being of people around the world: armed intrastate conflict and government repression.

Since the end of the Second World War, armed conflict within the borders of states has become an increasingly prevalent phenomenon (Beiser, 2016). Those conflicts are often referred to as intrastate or civil conflicts. A number of data projects are dedicated to measuring and classifying conflicts. The UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Data is one of the most commonly used sources of data (Uppsala Conflict Data Program, 2014) and defines conflict as ‘(...) a contested incompatibility that concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of ...

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