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Title:The push and pull of war: the political geography of rebel behavior during wartime
Author(s):Reeder, Bryce Wesley
Director of Research:Diehl, Paul
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Diehl, Paul
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Vasquez, John A.; Pahre, Robert; McLafferty, Sara L.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Violence
Civil War
Civil Conflict
International Peacekeeping
Interstate Conflict
Political Geography
Abstract:The bulk of work on civil conflict seeks to explain variation across civil wars rather than within them. This has led to a better understanding as to why civil wars erupt in some countries, whereas others remain relatively peaceful over a prolonged period of time. What is lacking, however, is a complete understanding as to why civil conflicts evolve the ways in which they do. This project suggests that identifying the characteristics of the specific localities used by rebel organizations is vital to understanding this puzzle. A theory is developed that explains why rebels choose the geographic locations that they do, and under what circumstances relocation is likely to occur. The potential consequences of relocation are then explored, with an emphasis on civilian victimization during wartime. In addition, the influence of militarized interstate conflict and peacekeeping deployments are explored in relation to shifts in the behavioral profiles of rebel organizations. The findings reveal that rebels do strategically select geographic locations that provide them with access to physical security and important resources. Relocation is observed when negative shocks occur locally, which are moments in time in which the locality in question becomes less conducive to rebellion. Relocation is significant in terms of rebel behavior because it is associated with the use of violence targeting civilian populations, especially when the rebel group is weaker relative to the national government. Finally, both militarized interstate conflict and peacekeeping deployments are shown to fundamentally alter local conditions, which in turn, leads to shifts in the tactics employed by rebels. This further highlights the importance of transnational factors in understanding the dynamics of internal wars.
Issue Date:2015-06-26
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Bryce Reeder
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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