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The Impact of Political System Structure on Probability Patterns of Internal Disorder

Daniel S. Geller
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 31, No. 2 (May, 1987), pp. 217-235
DOI: 10.2307/2111074
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111074
Page Count: 19
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The Impact of Political System Structure on Probability Patterns of Internal Disorder
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Abstract

This study presents a stochastic interpretation of domestic conflict processes. It determines the probabilistic patterns of two dimensions of political violence and examines the effects of system structure on those patterns. Specifically, system structure appears to influence both the type and magnitude of conflict within nations. Among the principal findings are indications that (1) centrist regimes suppress civil violence more quickly and efficiently than either polyarchic or personalist systems, (2) turmoil is more likely to occur in polyarchies than in centrist nations, and (3) internal war is less probable in either polyarchic or centrist systems than in personalist states. In short, centrist systems manifest less violence and for briefer durations than either polyarchic or personalist states. Indeed, in the long run the future levels of internal war (none, moderate, or high) for personalist nations are equiprobable, irrespective of the current level of violence. The distribution is unique to the personalist group of states and suggests that revolutionary behavior is strongly associated with this system structure.

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