The J-curve of rising and declining satisfactions as an explanation of Costa Rican conflict: A historical and quantitative review
The question of when members of a polity engage in collective conflict and why is a complicated one. The "J-curve of Rising and Declining Satisfactions" developed by James C. Davies explains the causes of social conflict by using the frustration and aggression paradigm. However most tests of the J-curve are incomplete, dealing only with discrete instances of conflict over short periods of time. This paper attempts to test the J-curve by reviewing the conflict behavior in Costa Rica over nine decades by using both a historical and quantitative methodology as recommended by Duff and McCamant (Violence and Repression in Latin America) and the Relative Deprivation and conflict typologies developed by Gurr (Why Men Rebel). The J-curve is confirmed in part as four of the five periods of extreme Relative Deprivation occurring within Costa Rica during the relevant period resulted in significant conflict behavior.