Conflict dynamics

Intercommunal and self-determination conflicts often resemble the proverbial powder keg. Small triggering events can have major consequences. This research track will explore these kinds of non-linear short-term escalation dynamics in cultural identity conflicts. We will work in particular on the conceptualization, operationalization, and data generation of triggering events and escalation periods. To explain short-term escalations, special attention will be given to the role of collective emotions as necessary ‘fuel’ for sparking events. The research will remedy three prevailing shortcomings in the field: an inordinate focus on time-invariant structural factors, an overemphasis on top-down rationalist or framing approaches, and a failure to integrate collective emotions into the research on cultural identity conflicts. A special workshop in 2022 will highlight these issues.

Ongoing Projects

  • Sparking Events, Emotional Climates, and Cascades in Cultural Identity Conflicts (funded by DFG, with C. Trinn, Heidelberg University)
  • Repression and Backlash Protests. Why Leader Arrests Backfire (with C. Steinert, Mannheim University)

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