Domestic Political Violence: Working Towards an Answer to a Timeless Question

John Gutowski '98, Illinois Wesleyan University


This paper compares two of the more prominent theories that explain the causes of domestic political violence: the older more established relative deprivation theory, and the much newer rational action theory. Deprivation theory remains the most prominent theory in the field, but rational action theory presents a formidable challenge. The following section places these two theories in the broader literature on domestic political violence. The next section presents the research design, including the operationalization, measurement, and specification of the models. The final section presents the analysis and conclusions from the models.