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Security forces in conflict: Composition, specialisation, and effectiveness in counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations

Dworschak, Christoph (2020) Security forces in conflict: Composition, specialisation, and effectiveness in counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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How does the composition of security forces in counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations influence their behaviour and performance? In this thesis I answer this question across three separate articles. Modern state militaries are expected to perform numerous duties, including offensive combat in inter- and intra-state conflicts, policing, and state-building. In the first paper, I argue that a differentiation of the security apparatus allows for an increased specialisation in units’ training and equipment on specific tasks, which enhances counterinsurgency effectiveness. However, fragmenting the security apparatus may also indicate coup-proofing efforts taken by the regime to mitigate military capabilities. I accommodate this ambivalence by devising a new index for differentiation, and find that differentiation increases counterinsurgency effectiveness. Building on these findings, in the second article I focus specifically on security forces’ defective behaviour, seeking to explain why security forces sometimes choose to side with the opposition movement. Drawing on the distinction established in my first paper, I argue that depending on the type of military fragmentation the risk of defection either increases or decreases. Employing Bayesian estimation, the findings in each paper provide corroboration. The third paper provides an extension to peacekeeping operations. My co-author and I argue that peacekeeping troops greatly vary across two dimensions: their function specialisation and their country of origin. We argue that mixing different units greatly increase peacekeepers’ specialisation in skills and equipment, improving peacekeeping effectiveness. However, this effect is strongly moderated by cultural diversity among troop contributing countries (TCCs), which exacerbates coordination problems. Our analysis on UN peacekeeping bases from 1994 to 2014 support our theory. The three studies jointly contribute to the fundamental discussion on force composition, civil-military relations, and effectiveness in counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations. Understanding these phenomena is pivotal to explaining how conflicts develop, escalate, and end.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Christoph Dworschak
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 15:37
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 15:37

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