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Intra-Ethnic Dominance and Control: Violence against Co-Ethnics in the Early Sri Lankan Civil War
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2011 (English)In: Security Studies, ISSN 0963-6412, E-ISSN 1556-1852, Vol. 20, no 2, 171-197 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In some ethno-separatist wars, rebel groups direct a large share of violence against members of their own ethnic community. But why do rebels target the co-ethnics they claim to represent in the war against the government? Our aim in this paper is to provide the components for a conceptual framework that we assess using unique disaggregated casualty data on violence committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam against co-ethnic Tamils in territories claimed for the Tamil Eelam state in the early phase of the Sri Lankan conflict, 1985–88. We propose that there are two distinct processes of intraethnic violence: violence against co-ethnic civilians and violence against co-ethnic rivals. While the former aims at controlling the population to win the war against the government, the latter aims at establishing leadership dominance over the ethnic minority. We examine the role of ethnic homogeneity in shaping the use of violence directed against the two types of co-ethnic targets in the buildup phase of ethno-separatist war. We conclude that ethnic demographic structures matter for how the rebels treat co-ethnics in the early phase of war before they have established territorial control.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 20, no 2, 171-197 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-121230DOI: 10.1080/09636412.2011.572676OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-121230DiVA: diva2:304739
Available from: 2010-03-19 Created: 2010-03-19 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Disaggregating Dissent: The Challenges of Intra-Party Consolidation in Civil War and Peace Negotiations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disaggregating Dissent: The Challenges of Intra-Party Consolidation in Civil War and Peace Negotiations
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary civil wars are often characterized not only by fighting between rebels and governments, but also by rebel violence against their own community members. In spite of repeated peace negotiations, many of these conflicts seem to go on endlessly. Such instances may reflect attempts or failures on the part of the non-state side to consolidate. To confront the government on the battle field or at the negotiation table, rebels need to become an effective fighting force as well as effective negotiators. So, what do rebels do to consolidate to wage war and negotiate peace? The dissertation approaches the question of rebel capacity by disaggregating the non-state side in civil war and in connection with peace talks. The dissertation offers a set of original case studies from three ethno-separatist conflicts: Sri Lanka, Indonesian Aceh, and Senegal. It combines qualitative methods with one study also containing basic regression analysis. The empirical analysis reveals that the risk perceptions, information asymmetries, and commitment issues that often mark the relationship between the state and non-state parties are also prevalent within the non-state party. The overall argument is that rebels’ consolidation of their capacity to fight and negotiate entails different processes. More specifically, it first specifies conditions under which rebels use violence against members of their own ethnic community as part of the war against the government by emphasizing the importance of timing, territorial control, and ethnic demographic concentration. Second, it explores and highlights the importance of the rich repertoire of non-violent methods which rebels employ to enhance their fighting capacity. Third, it draws attention to the significant role of social network structures on the non-state side by empirically examining these structures, and their relationship to civil war dynamics and peace negotiations. Fourth, it sheds new light on pre-negotiation and ripeness theory by specifying the elements on the non-state side that need to be mobilized for a peace settlement, and what mobilization measures are used at what time. By furthering an understanding of the non-state side in civil war and peace processes, the dissertation helps third parties to engage more constructively in peacemaking, and humanitarian and development assistance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: , 2010. 27 p.
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 90
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-121237 (URN)978-91-506-2130-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-12, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-20 Created: 2010-03-19 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved

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Lilja, JannieHultman, Lisa

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