This Land Is My Land: Secessionist Group Leaders' Decisions to Decrease or Increase the Level of Violence They Use Open Access

Haywood, Keisha Sherise (2009)

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Abstract

Abstract
This Land Is My Land:
Secessionist Group Leaders' Decisions to Decrease or Increase the Level of Violence
They Use
By Keisha S. Haywood
Why do groups that fight secessionist wars frequently vacillate between
violence and nonviolence? While empirical evidence from the existing literature shows
that most secessionist conflicts are violent, the literature does not address why the level
of violence within these conflicts varies over time. I examine changes in
the level of violence secessionist group leaders use, which accounts for the variation. I
hypothesized that a group leader will change the level of violence used if
there is a change in any of the following: (1) secessionist group grievances, (2) the level
of government repression, or (3) secessionist group capacity to use violence. I conducted
a case study in which I interviewed leaders and members of the Mouvement des Force
Démocratique de la Casamance (MFDC) in Sénégal, and a secondary case study of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in
Southern Sudan. The evidence from these case studies shows that there is a positive,
linear relationship between group grievances and the group's level of violence, and
between the level government repression and the group's level of violence. I also found
that splits within the group, inter-factional conflict, changes in group leaders' goals and
public support for the movement or group, and intervention by external actors play a role
in group leaders' decisions about the level of violence to use, but additional research is
required to identify the causal mechanism between these variables and the dependent
variable. In addition, there were two more general findings that have important
theoretical, methodological, empirical, and policy implications: the independent variables
usually changed within the six months leading up to the change in the dependent variable,
which exposes a major shortcoming of the annual measures of the variables used in most
political violence studies; and, secessionist groups are not unitary actors, and treating
them as such ignores the fact that the factions within the group often have different goals
and use different levels of violence.

Table of Contents



Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES.................................................................................... i

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS ........................................................................... ii

INTRODUCTION TO SECESSION .............................................................................. - 1 -

THEORETICAL ARGUMENT AND METHODOLOGY .......................................... - 37 -

CONGRUENCE TESTS OF THE HYPOTHESES ..................................................... - 69 -

1991 CEASEFIRE BETWEEN THE MFDC AND SÉNÉGAL ................................ - 128 -

2004 PEACE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE MFDC AND SÉNÉGAL ............... - 161 -

THE MFDC IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE: THE CASE OF THE SPLA ... - 197 -

CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................... - 241 -

APPENDIX 1: CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS IN SÉNÉGAL ................................. - 269 -

APPENDIX 2: KNOWN FACTIONS OF THE MFDC ............................................ - 301 -

BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................................................................................... - 304 -



List of Tables

i

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES


Figure 2.1 Theoretical Argument ..................................................................................... 49
Table 3.1: Coding Group Action ...................................................................................... 76
Table 3.2: Change in Group Action .................................................................................. 79
Table 3.3: Group Grievance Variable ............................................................................... 86
Table 3.4: Congruence Test of H1 .................................................................................... 88
Table 3.5: Government Repression Variable .................................................................... 96
Table 3.6: Change in Government Repression Variable .................................................. 98
Table 3.7: Congruence Test of H2, H3, and H4 ............................................................... 99
Table 3.8: Change in Group Capacity Variable .............................................................. 111
Table 3.9: Congruence Test of H5 .................................................................................. 113
Table 3.10: Congruence Test of Simultaneous Change in Variables ............................. 116
Figure 4.1: Causal Mechanism for 1991 Ceasefire ......................................................... 139
Figure 5.1: Abbé Diamacoune's Decision for 2004 Peace Agreement .......................... 175
Figure 5.2: Military Leaders' Decisions for 2004 Peace Agreement ............................. 181
Table 6.1:Expected Relationships Between Variables and Group Violence .................. 201


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