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Title:Savage rulers: state-sponsored mass killing during civil war
Author(s):Kim, Dongsuk
Director of Research:Diehl, Paul F.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Vasquez, John A.; Allee, Todd L.; Leff, Carol S.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):state-sponsored mass killing
civil war
Abstract:Throughout history, warring parties have contravened norms or laws that prescribe the protection of noncombatant civilians, and wars have often wreaked tremendous havoc on civilian populations. In this dissertation, I investigate conditions under which state leaders embroiled in civil war perpetrate extensive mass killing against their own populations. Extant literature on mass killing does not sufficiently address civilian support for insurgents, which can influence the government’s strategies for subduing the insurgency. Mass killing scholars take civilian support as given, not examining what makes civilians buttress the rebels. My dissertation fills this gap by theorizing and testing the linkage between factors that generate civilian support for insurgents and extensive mass killing committed by the government. I claim that secessionist war, external support for insurgents from their ethnoreligious brethren and the government’s rival states, severe political and economic marginalization, and history of intense armed conflict are likely to trigger extensive mass killing, whereas rebels’ exploitation of lootable resources is likely to restrain extensive mass killing. I verify my theoretical argument by conducting large-N statistical analyses and comparative case studies (Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) and Peruvian Civil War (1982-1992)). The analyses reveal that ethnoreligious support for insurgents, severe political marginalization, and a history of intense armed conflict account well for the outbreak of state-sponsored extensive mass killing. The effect of economic marginalization and rival support for rebels hinges on research methods or model specifications. Insurgent aim and lootable resources exercise little influence on variation in mass killing. My study suggests that civilian support for insurgents affects the behavior or strategies of embattled rulers and some factors that produce strong civilian support for rebels explain and predict the occurrence of the government’s extensive civilian killings.
Issue Date:2012-02-06
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Dongsuk Kim
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-02-06
Date Deposited:2011-12

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