German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
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.