Kristine Eck researches on the aspect of ethnic mobilization and the increased risk of conflict escalation in her paper ‘From armed conflict to war: Ethnic mobilization and conflict intensification’. She posits that there have been studies on ethnic conflict but in so far as the start or period of the unrest but no study has been made on the increase in violence (p. 370). The study explains the characteristics of ethnic mobilization and its effect on conflict, the likelihood of these conflicts increasing in their magnitude and the period taken for such occurrence to manifest.
Ethnic mobilization in this study refers to the membership of the perpetrators of violence hence they come from the same tribe and further explain identity politics. The organization of the fighters comes into play as members are needed to advance the tribe’s quest against a common enemy e.g. the government in case of oppression. Tribe members provide the manpower the most important element in their cause. They are committed, easily identifiable, manageable as repercussions abound for deserters. On the other hand since the fighters are easily identifiable as a particular tribe, the government can decide to crack down on these people and even over use the power vested in them. This will now push other members of the tribe who had not joined the fight to join their brothers as sympathizers and here the escalation of the violence is sure to follow. In the end, the fighters are strengthened thus posing a headache to the government of the day.
Kristine’s empirical study showed that where there is recruiting along tribal lines then a higher likelihood of violence escalation was real. Also the countries with a bigger tribe or tribes compared to other tribes have higher chances of having such problems of war. Importantly is that the risk is lower if it’s two tribes feuding instead of one tribe against the establishment of the day; the government (p. 380). Finally with the duration for such feuds, the mark is 12 years after which the tendency drops. Most fail within the first year because of some intervention.