This article counterclaims that ideology lacks relevance to contemporary armed conflicts, especially when economic factors play an important role. Focusing on the case of Colombia, the authors utilize logistic regression analysis to test whether ideology allows one to distinguish between different armed groups and whether a combatant's level of agreement with his or her armed group is related to affinity for that group's ideology. The high degree of collinearity between three indicators of ideology-discourse, attitudes, and emotional responses-and their similar explanatory power support the article's conceptual proposal of viewing them as different dimensions of the same phenomenon. The authors find that ideology continues to play a role in the internal dynamics of Colombian armed groups and that a combatant's ideological development is influenced not only by pre-enlistment experiences but also by participation in a particular group. Future research should not ignore ideology as an important element of contemporary armed conflicts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations