Do Good Borders Make Good Rebels? Territorial Control and Civilian Casualties

  title={Do Good Borders Make Good Rebels? Territorial Control and Civilian Casualties},
  author={Megan A. Stewart and Yu-Ming Liou},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={284 - 301}
How does the location of rebel-held territory shape insurgent relations with civilians? We argue that when rebel groups control territory domestically, they are strongly incentivized to cultivate mutually beneficial relations with civilians living in their territory and limit their violence against them, while insurgencies with foreign territorial control are incentivized to deploy violence against civilians to gain compliance and extract resources. We test this hypothesis in three ways: a… 

Civil War as State-Making: Strategic Governance in Civil War

  • M. Stewart
  • Political Science
    International Organization
  • 2017
Abstract Why do some rebel groups provide governance inclusively while most others do not? Some insurgencies divert critical financial and personnel resources to provide benefits to anyone, including

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    SSRN Electronic Journal
  • 2020
Where cross-border sanctuary enables rebels to marshal external support, classical theories of counterinsurgency extol the strategic value of border control. By sealing borders, counterinsurgents can

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  • M. Lawrence
  • Political Science
    Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the Nineteenth Century
  • 2020
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Rebels can comply with international law during a conflict by not violating international borders, yet strategic goals may incentivize rebels to violate these borders. When do international borders

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  • A. Stein
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    European Journal of International Relations
  • 2022
Does the overtness of external support to rebels affect civilian targeting in civil wars? Conflict studies increasingly scrutinize how insurgent sponsorships shape rebels’ behavior. However, the

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The literature on separatist groups has paid relatively little attention to groups’ exact territorial claims and their influence on strategies. We explain the geographic distribution of separatist



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The toll of civil conflict is largely borne by civilian populations, as warring factions target non-combatants through campaigns of violence. But significant variation exists in the extent to which

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We develop and test an economic theory of insurgency motivated by the informal literature and by recent military doctrine. We model a three-way contest between violent rebels, a government seeking to

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An influential conventional wisdom holds that civil wars proliferated rapidly with the end of the Cold War and that the root cause of many or most of these has been ethnic and religious antagonisms.

Terrorism in the Context of Civil War

  • J. Stanton
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    The Journal of Politics
  • 2013
Although scholars have focused primarily on transnational terrorism, much of the terrorism occurring worldwide is domestic terrorism carried out by rebel groups fighting in civil wars. This article

Cain´s choice : causes of one-sided violence against civilians

Conflict researchers are divided on what explains the massive victimisation and murdering of civilians and unarmed combatants, but largely agree that many of these acts are intentional and that the