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Could rebel child soldiers prolong civil wars?

Haer, R and Bohmelt, T (2017) 'Could rebel child soldiers prolong civil wars?' Cooperation and Conflict, 52 (3). pp. 332-359. ISSN 0010-8367

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While we know why rebels may recruit children for their cause, our understanding of the consequences of child soldiering by non-state armed groups remains limited. The following research contributes to addressing this by examining how rebels? child recruitment practice affects the duration of internal armed conflicts. We advance the argument that child soldiering increases the strength of rebel organizations vis-�-vis the government. This, in turn, lowers the capability asymmetry between these nonstate actors and the incumbent, allowing the former to sustain in dispute. Ultimately, the duration of armed conflicts is likely to be prolonged. We analyze this relationship with quantitative data on child soldier recruitment by rebel groups in the post-1989 period. The results confirm our main hypothesis: disputes are substantially longer when rebels recruit children. This work has important implications for the study of armed conflicts, conflict duration, and our understanding of child soldiering.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: child soldiers; civil war; conflict duration; event history models
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2016 10:06
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:38

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