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The Role of State and Non-State Actors in Determining Violent and Nonviolent Tactics in Political Conflict

Petrova, Marina (2019) The Role of State and Non-State Actors in Determining Violent and Nonviolent Tactics in Political Conflict. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis seeks to explain the choices of violent and nonviolent tactics in political conflict. It consists of three papers that focus on different aspects pertaining to the initiation and development of internal political conflict considering violence and nonviolence as potential mobilization outcomes. The overarching theme is the actor-centric approach to delineating the determinants of nonviolent and violent forms of opposition. This thesis focuses on state and non-state actors to elucidate how these can shape the type of opposition tactics. The first paper takes a macro perspective and argues that the state and its repressive repertoire determine the likelihood of violent and nonviolent mobilization tactics. This is because the state, via its different repressive tactics, shapes the motivation and opportunity for violence and nonviolence. This is the first study that disaggregates state repression and the findings suggest that different types of repression affect opposition forms differently. The second paper focuses on the effect of state and non-state external supporters on the likelihood of rebel groups adopting nonviolent tactics. It shows that foreign states and diaspora as external sponsors in fact have different effects. Support from diaspora is consistently associated with an increased probability of adopting nonviolent tactics, while state supporters do not appear to have a consistent effect on these tactical decisions. The third paper examines the role of civil society in preventing the onset of civil war as a trajectory of political protest events. It shows that in contexts of already undergoing nonviolent resistance, high capacity civil society diminishes the risk of civil war as a protest trajectory. As such, this paper provides the first systematic empirical evidence on the role of civil society in political conflict. Overall, this thesis makes a contribution by explaining previously understudied aspects pertaining to the intersection between violent and nonviolent mobilization.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Marina Petrova
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2019 10:02
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 10:02
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25589

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