Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2016 | 1 | 97-116

Article title

State capacity and violence in civil war: Counterintuitive evidence from Colombia


Title variants

Languages of publication



The paper analyses the relationship between state capacity and political violence with reference to the Colombian civil war. It disaggregates the concept of state capacity into three components: non-violent, routine violent, and extra-ordinary violent ones. Theoretically speaking, each of them may have a different effect on insecurity. The standard argument in political conflict literature proposes that violence in civil war increases with the weakness of the state. Such a claim implies that an increase in state capacity should reduce conflict-related insecurity. Econometric analyses of municipal-level data from Colombia show that this conjuncture need not be true. The paper demonstrates that the rapid increase in the extra-ordinary violent capacity of the state on the Colombian Pacific Coast nearly doubled the amount of non-state political violence in the region between 2003 and 2009.


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.