Article

Why Follow the Leader? Collective Action, Credible Commitment, and Conflict

Philip Keefer

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392777
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195392777.013.0032

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Why Follow the Leader? Collective Action, Credible Commitment, and Conflict

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This article focuses on internal conflict and the role of collective action in the interactions between the leaders of a group and the other members of the group. It argues that collective action by a group's members is critical to support commitments by its leaders and therefore the group's cohesiveness, which is important for defending its leadership position or for establishing a more offensive stance to expel the current ruling group. But leaders also need to limit collective action to protect themselves against expulsion by their own group members. How the leaders balance the costs and benefits of allowing collective action by the group's members has important implications for the influence of income shocks in cultivating conflict.

Keywords: internal conflict; collective action; group cohesiveness; income shocks

Article.  11328 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics ; Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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