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The Ties That Bind: Ethnicity, Pro-government Militia, and the Dynamics of Violence in Civil War

Abbs, Luke and Clayton, Govinda and Thomson, Andrew (2019) 'The Ties That Bind: Ethnicity, Pro-government Militia, and the Dynamics of Violence in Civil War.' Journal of Conflict Resolution. ISSN 0022-0027

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Abstract

Existing research reveals many of the ways pro-government militia (PGM) shape civil violence but overlooks how the ethno-political ties between the state and a PGM might influence these effects. We argue that co-ethnic militia (i.e., groups composed of the ruling elite’s ethnic kin) are relatively loyal irregular forces that multiply state military capacity. The greater loyalty of co-ethnic groups mitigates principal–agent problems but further polarizes ethnic communities, and as a result, co-ethnic PGMs are likely to be associated with longer and more intense civil conflict. We test this argument on a global sample of cases from 1989 to 2007 using new data capturing the ethnic ties of all PGMs. The results support our claims that co-ethnic militia are associated with more intense and longer civil conflict.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethnicity, pro-government militia, counterinsurgency, civil war, conflict intensity, conflict duration
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 10:35
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2020 22:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26017

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