Christopher Huber / Matthias Basedau

When Do Religious Minorities' Grievances Lead to Peaceful or Violent Protest? Evidence from Canada’s Jewish and Muslim Communities

GIGA Working Paper, No. 313, September 2018

Abstract
Previous research has shown that minority grievances can contribute significantly to violent conflict. However, it appears that grievances do not inevitably induce religious and other minorities to engage in protest or rebellion. Moreover, relative deprivation may explain conflict but not necessarily violent conflict. Contributing to research on these questions, this paper explores the conditions under which the grievances of religious minorities lead to non‐violent or violent protest. Using a motive‐opportunity framework, we assume that members of religious minorities who feel discriminated against must be willing and able to engage in peaceful and violent forms of protest – and that certain conditions are required for grievances to result in peaceful or violent dissent. We test this proposition by comparing the Jewish and Muslim communities in Canada. Our findings indicate that relative economic and political deprivation may create concrete grievances that in combination with origin-based value incompatibilities can explain differences in behaviour in reaction to these grievances.

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GIGA Authors

Christopher Huber

Research Fellow / Doctoral Student

Christopher Huber is a PhD candidate at the University of Hamburg and a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs. He holds a master’s degree in political science from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs
Editor GIGA Focus Africa

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau is director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs and professor of political science at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on political institutions and armed conflicts, as well as how both are linked to ethnicity, religion, and natural resources. He is also the regional coordinator for Central and West Africa within the framework of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

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