Tag: Political Instability


Political Instability



Political instability involves a situation whereby a country undergoes political unrest such that the country is not at peace while property and lives are lost in the process. Domestic political instability is caused by various issues such as lack of transparency in the government as well as other circumstances involving ethnicity especially in major countries which have multi-cultural citizens. Domestic conflicts usually lead to a number of negative events coming up as a result of the instability associated with wars and insecurity. Despite the efforts put forward bah major political bigwigs in the world, more and more countries are greatly affected by political instability.


Causes of political instability

Environmental problems such as the recent global issues are a major cause of political instability in most countries which are adversely affected by the condition. Global warming is a diverse problem which affects the human activities of various countries and as most of them are dependent on activities such as farming which is exceptionally affected, the problem becomes quite threatening. Countries have disagreed on the levels of acceptable green house gases which should be emitted into the atmosphere and at times some countries have been solely blamed for exceeding the levels (Gupta, 1967).  Citizens prompt their leaders to issue regulations on such industries which produce harmful emissions that threaten existence of human life and failure to carry out the policies creates conflicts through emergence of political activists who incite the citizens. Lack of understanding between legislatures and their international counterparts on the issue of global warming leads to conflicts which are not only domestic, but also international as different countries in the same region may differ on the levels of green house gases produced by either (Gupta, 1967).Political corruption in election has been a major cause of political instability especially where the concerned leaders lack accountability of the corruption. Generally political corruption reduces the efficiency of providing basic public amenities as it erodes the institutional capability of the government.

When a government indulges in corrupt deals, the public loose their trust in it and as a way of showing their distrust, the citizens may engage in war which will be poorly timed as at that time the efficiency of the government to provide security is thwarted by corrupt deals (Gupta, 1967).Political corruption undermines good governance such that the instability caused by resistance of the poor governance may take longer to stop as the mistrust will be highly evident among the people. Poor utilization of a countries resources and embezzlement of public funds may also trigger political wars as a way of protesting against the misappropriation. However, political instability due to embezzlement of funds is usually organized by other political activists and through proper dialogue in addition to necessary actions being undertaken by relevant authorities, this form of rebellion is usually contained before becoming bigger (Gupta, 1967).Countries which have been faced with political instability due to political corruption usually experience slow and stagnant economic growth which takes a long time to recover. Occasionally, the embezzled funds are never recovered while misallocated resources are subdivided once more to reduce conflicts.

Some countries which undergo political instability due to political corruption call for change in country leadership while overturning of such a corrupt government is quite common (Gupta, 1967).  Political ethnicity which is commonly referred to as negative nationalism is a major cause of political instability. Negative nationalism calls for individuals of certain ethnicity being in political offices and during that time members of the same ethnic group are bound to benefit tremendously.  A common example of political instability is the genocide which was seen in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995 after the 1990 parliamentary elections which led to a national assembly dominated by three ethnically-based parties. The three parties which were composed of individuals belonging to three ethnic groups had formed a loose coalition as a way of removing the communists from political power.After the country was declared sovereign in 1991 a referendum followed which was boycotted by a large number of Serbs which led to the voting being in favor of the proposal and thus, Bosnia and Herzegovina became independent states.

This was only for a short period which was full of tension and sporadic military incidents such that when the war began in 1992, the country was ready and the hatred between the ethnic groups was intense Gutman, (1993).Ethnic wars are caused by negative ethnicity and increased nepotism such that the members of the ethnic group from which the president originates from always believes that it is their time to share the public cake. This makes people aggressive when carrying out campaigns or when a member of their ethnic group fails to cliché the top seat.  This also happens when one ethnic group believes it is superior to the others and the country ends up in political turmoil if the problem is not rectified early enough Gutman,(1993).Countries which suffer from frequent ethnic wars are less likely to progress economically as the hatred exhibited across ethnical borders inhibits collective nation building Gutman, (1993)

.Similarly the damage caused by such wars as well as the scars left behind takes a longer period to reconstruct.Rapid population increase and high levels of unemployment have been blamed for causing political instability in Melanesia. The citizens are disgruntled by lack of proper government policies which may prevent the rapid increase in population of the Melanesians and especially because there are no jobs for all citizens. Lack of adequate jobs for all reduces the ability of everyone to fend for his/her family hence creating more problems including discontent among the Melanesians. Most individuals dislike the idea of having to rely on relief food and services such that they would rather engage in other activities even if illegal to provide for their families. This discontentment and lack of jobs causes the residents to engage in idle talk as there is nothing much they can do other than sit around all day hence they have adequate time to plan for wars Butkiewecz, and Yanikkaya, (2005)

.A government which is unable to provide for the needs of its citizens is seen as a failure and the Melanesians engaged in domestic war as a way of making their grievances known to the government and the entire world. The only way in which such a government can instill peace in the country is by providing jobs for all in addition to putting strategies in place which will check the overall population growth of the country. This is a form of assurance to the Melanesians that everything will be okay as well as a sign that the government is in control hence the war is avoided and stopped such that the country is able to regain its political stability Butkiewecz, (2005).The status of a society also determines the political status of that country as presence of an unstable society which is denied the basic democratic rights is more likely to trigger political instability. A society which is allowed to exercise its rights in a democratic way is less likely to engage in war as the needs and problems affecting the people will be catered for adequately before they become real issues of national concern.

Consequently, societies which are less developed or else those which do not engage in major income generating investments are more prone to getting into political wars (Gupta, 1967).The stability of any give society is a key determinant of the stability of the country as several societies make up an entire country. Therefore, stability in all societies’ leads is paramount to stability in the whole country. Similarly, societies which have experienced political instability are less likely to engage in the same as the effects and aftermath of such wars is not a very appealing site (Gupta, 1967).The level of democracy is also a key determinant of political status of a country especially when handling issues that are concerned with provision of basic human rights and equal presentation of all citizens. Promotion of equality in terms of gender and ethnic groups may reduce quite a large number of wars caused by political instability (Gupta, 1967).


Butkiewecz, James, L. and Yanikkaya, Halit.  Sociopolitical instability and long run economic growth: a cross country empirical investigation. Journal of policy modeling.   (2005) Vol. 27, pp. 629-645

Gutman, R., A witness to genocide, the 1993 Pulitzer prize-winning dispatches on the “ ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia. (1993), New York: Macmillan

Gupta, Anirudha  Roots of political instability in Africa. Economic and Political weekly, June 10 1967. pp 1041

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