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Killing Civilians to Signal Resolve: Rebel Strategies in Intrastate Armed Conflicts
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
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.))
Abstract [en]

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.

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Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-82205OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-82205DiVA: diva2:110111
Available from: 2006-09-22 Created: 2006-09-22

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Hultman, Lisa
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