Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Targeting the Unarmed: Strategic Rebel Violence in Civil War
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning , 2008. , 41 p.
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 82
Keyword [en]
one-sided violence, violence against civilians, killing, civil war, rebel group, rebel strategy, bargaining, count model, Renamo, Mozambique
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8852ISBN: 978-91-506-2009-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-8852DiVA: diva2:172134
Public defence
2008-05-31, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-05-08 Created: 2008-05-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. One-Sided Violence Against Civilians in War: Insights from New Fatality Data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>One-Sided Violence Against Civilians in War: Insights from New Fatality Data
2007 (English)In: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578, Vol. 44, no 2, 233-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) 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.

National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97268 (URN)10.1177/0022343307075124 (DOI)000245923100006 ()
Available from: 2008-05-08 Created: 2008-05-08 Last updated: 2011-02-04Bibliographically approved
2. Rebel Attacks on Civilians: Targeting the Achilles Heel of Democratic Governments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rebel Attacks on Civilians: Targeting the Achilles Heel of Democratic Governments
Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97269 (URN)
Available from: 2008-05-08 Created: 2008-05-08 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
3. Battle Losses and Rebel Violence: Raising the Costs for Fighting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Battle Losses and Rebel Violence: Raising the Costs for Fighting
2007 (English)In: Terrorism and Political Violence, ISSN 0954-6553, E-ISSN 1556-1836, Vol. 19, no 2, 205-222 p.Article in journal (Refereed) 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.

Keyword
Battle outcome, Conflict strategy, Internal conflict, Rebel groups, Violence against civilians
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97270 (URN)10.1080/09546550701246866 (DOI)000246066800003 ()
Available from: 2008-05-08 Created: 2008-05-08 Last updated: 2017-10-31
4. The Power to Hurt in Civil War: A Case Study of the Military Strategy of Renamo
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Power to Hurt in Civil War: A Case Study of the Military Strategy of Renamo
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97271 (URN)
Available from: 2008-05-08 Created: 2008-05-08 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(970 kB)1679 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 970 kBChecksum SHA-1
7d45af77970095e8b74dabccb0afffddbb38ac3f81b907a2ce7356093d7f168ff6fe9495
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
cover(140 kB)38 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 140 kBChecksum SHA-1
8565ce0eaa4f64d79ffda1fa9c6c41dd5482b8c2562b04155e9dffd19c8b42cfea2286b8
Type coverMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Department of Peace and Conflict Research
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1679 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 4087 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf