Killing Civilians to Signal Resolve: Rebel Strategies in Intrastate Armed Conflicts
2005 (English)In: Presented at the APSA Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., 1-4 September 2005, and the European Peace Science (Jan Tinbergen) Conference, Amsterdam, 27-29 June 2005., 2005Conference paper (Other (popular scientific, debate etc.))
This paper deals with the question why rebels groups in intrastate conflicts choose to kill civilians, despite both domestic and international audience costs. From a bargaining perspective, I argue that rebels that are losing on the battlefield may target civilians in order to signal their resolve to the government. Since it is assumed to be a costly action, the rebels can thereby prove their determination to continue and consequently affect the overall bargaining range of the conflict. A further implication of the argument is that conflict duration should have negative effects on rebel violence against civilians, since the expected effect of violence as a signal decreases over time. The study is based on a dataset with monthly observations over rebel killings of civilians in all intrastate armed conflicts from January 2002 to December 2004. The hypotheses are tested using a zero-inflated negative binomial regression model, and the empirical results support the theoretical argument.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-82205OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-82205DiVA: diva2:110111