The Onset Versus the Continuation of Insurgency – Nepal, a Single Country, District-Level Analysis

Ethnic Conflict, Civil War and Cost of Conflict

ISBN: 978-1-78052-130-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-131-2

ISSN: 1572-8323

Publication date: 20 July 2011


This chapter focuses on the Maoist insurgency in the 75 districts of Nepal and tries to analyze the insurgency in a comparative perspective. We compare the 75 districts with the aim to address the following questions: Why does an insurgency emerge in certain areas? How is it linked to economic, social, or political factors? Why does an insurgency show a robust presence in some districts but fail to do likewise in others? We attempt to answer these questions by conducting multivariate regressions using longitudinal data to test our primary hypothesis that the onset of an insurgency and the continuation are functions of the same factors. We examine insurgency within one country, Nepal, and test our model in Nepal's 75 districts, in a single country context, using available data on the 10-year-long insurgency. We break down the Nepalese insurgency into two parts: the onset and the continuation. Our findings indicate that regions predominantly polarized by caste are more prone to the onset of insurgency than any other factor. Higher literacy rate, a proxy for government efficacy, renders insurgency less feasible, and difficult terrain has no impact whatsoever. However, after the onset, many of the explanatory variables are no longer significant for the continuation of the insurgency and grievances alone tend to be meaningless.



Shiffman, G.M. and Khadka, P.B. (2011), "The Onset Versus the Continuation of Insurgency – Nepal, a Single Country, District-Level Analysis", Caruso, R. (Ed.) Ethnic Conflict, Civil War and Cost of Conflict (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 99-130.

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