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Targeting the Unarmed: Strategic Rebel Violence in Civil War
Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning.
2008 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Rebel attacks on civilians constitute one of the gravest threats to human security in contemporary armed conflicts. But why do rebel groups kill civilians? The dissertation approaches this question from a strategic perspective, trying to understand when and why rebel groups are likely to target civilians as a conflict strategy. It combines quantitative studies using global data on rebel group violence with a case study of the civil war in Mozambique. The overall argument is that rebel groups target civilians as a way of improving their bargaining position in the war relative to the government. The dissertation consists of an introduction, which situates the study in a wider context, and four papers that all deal with different aspects of the overall research question. Paper I introduces new data on one-sided violence against civilians, presenting trends over time and comparing types of actors and conflicts. Paper II argues that democratic governments are particularly vulnerable to rebel attacks on civilians, since they are dependent on the population. Corroborating this claim, statistical evidence shows that rebels indeed kill more civilians when fighting a democratic government. Paper III argues that rebels target civilians more when losing on the battlefield, as a method of raising the costs for the government to continue fighting. A statistical analysis employing monthly data on battle outcomes and rebel violence, supports this argument. Paper IV takes a closer look at the case of Mozambique, arguing that the rebel group Renamo used large-scale violence in areas dominated by government constituents as a means for hurting the government. Taken together, these findings suggest that violence against civilians should be understood as a strategy, rather than a consequence, of war.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Uppsala: Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning , 2008. , s. 41
Serie
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 82
Nyckelord [en]
one-sided violence, violence against civilians, killing, civil war, rebel group, rebel strategy, bargaining, count model, Renamo, Mozambique
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8852ISBN: 978-91-506-2009-2 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-8852DiVA, id: diva2:172134
Disputation
2008-05-31, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2008-05-08 Skapad: 2008-05-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-03-11Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. One-Sided Violence Against Civilians in War: Insights from New Fatality Data
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>One-Sided Violence Against Civilians in War: Insights from New Fatality Data
2007 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578, Vol. 44, nr 2, s. 233-246Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents new data on the direct and deliberate killings of civilians, called one-sided violence, in intrastate armed conflicts, 19892004. These data contribute to the present state of quantitative research on violence against civilians in three important respects: the data provide actual estimates of civilians killed, the data are collected annually and the data are provided for both governments and rebel groups. Using these data, general trends and patterns are presented, showing that the post-Cold War era is characterized by periods of fairly low-scale violence punctuated by occasional sharp increases in violence against civilians. Furthermore, rebels tend to be more violent on the whole, while governments commit relatively little violence except in those few years which see mass killings. The article then examines some factors that have been found to predict genocide and evaluates how they correlate with one-sided violence as conceptualized here. A U-shaped correlation between regime type and one-sided violence is identified: while autocratic governments undertake higher levels of one-sided violence than other regime types, rebels are more violent in democratic countries.

Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97268 (URN)10.1177/0022343307075124 (DOI)000245923100006 ()
Tillgänglig från: 2008-05-08 Skapad: 2008-05-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-02-24Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Rebel Attacks on Civilians: Targeting the Achilles Heel of Democratic Governments
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Rebel Attacks on Civilians: Targeting the Achilles Heel of Democratic Governments
Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) In press
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97269 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2008-05-08 Skapad: 2008-05-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2010-01-14Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Battle Losses and Rebel Violence: Raising the Costs for Fighting
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Battle Losses and Rebel Violence: Raising the Costs for Fighting
2007 (Engelska)Ingår i: Terrorism and Political Violence, ISSN 0954-6553, E-ISSN 1556-1836, Vol. 19, nr 2, s. 205-222Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

In many armed conflicts, rebel groups deliberately target civilians. This article examines whether such violence is related to the performance of the rebels on the battlefield. It is proposed that rebel groups who are losing battles target civilians in order to impose extra costs on the government. When rebels attack civilians, the government may incur both political and military costs. Violence against civilians is thus used as an alternative conflict strategy aimed at pressuring the government into concessions. The argument is evaluated by using monthly data for rebel groups involved in armed conflict from January 2002 to December 2004.

Nyckelord
Battle outcome, Conflict strategy, Internal conflict, Rebel groups, Violence against civilians
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97270 (URN)10.1080/09546550701246866 (DOI)000246066800003 ()
Tillgänglig från: 2008-05-08 Skapad: 2008-05-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-02-24
4. The Power to Hurt in Civil War: A Case Study of the Military Strategy of Renamo
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The Power to Hurt in Civil War: A Case Study of the Military Strategy of Renamo
Manuskript (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97271 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2008-05-08 Skapad: 2008-05-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2010-01-13Bibliografiskt granskad

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