Does more (or less) lead to violence? Application of the relative deprivation hypothesis on economic inequality-induced conflicts

Abstract

This article employs the relative deprivation theory in order to explain the formation of violent con-flicts induced by an increase in economic inequality. By using the frustration-aggression hypothesis, the author attempts to illustrate how the rise in inequality, caused by changed economic structure, can be transformed into violence, often accompanied by material and human casualties. In addition to the theoretical framework, the article relies on empirical studies carried out by using relative dep-rivation as a starting point. Finally, the author observes indications that inequality-induced conflicts could soon take place in developed and developing countries, which is why new models of develop-ment and economic policies must be implemented and thus used as conflict-preventing mechanisms.

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