The Role of External Support on the Use of Terrorism in Civil War Open Access

Chan, Sydney (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/cf95jc394?locale=en
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Abstract

What prompts the use of terrorism (intentional civilian targeting) in civil wars? Despite widespread belief that the targeting of civilians in war is morally incorrect, numerous examples of horrific civilian casualties as a result of war persist. Scholars have studied various motivational factors of the state government and the rebel group(s) that have been thought to contribute to the use of terrorism in civil wars. In an increasingly globalized world, modern civil wars often are influenced by external factors beyond the borders of a nation. This paper expands the scope of analysis to examine the role of third parties, by way of external support, in the use of terrorism in civil war. With a primary focus on rebel groups, two competing theories are highlighted in the literature as to whether or not external support increases or decreases the use of terrorism by a rebel group in civil war. Compiled panel data on external support and civilian and noncombatant deaths by dyadic civil war year is used in this paper to analyze the role of different types of external support, as well as other characteristics of the conflict, on the use of terrorism in civil war. Random-effects Poisson regression modeling is used to provide empirical analyses of the data. While findings on the effects of the two competing theories remain inconclusive in regard to rebel group strategy, external support is shown to have a significant impact on the use of terrorism by warring parties in the civil war conflict. Further research into the nuances of the external support relationship between the third party and the warring parties is suggested in order to better capture the dynamics of the decision-making involved when terrorism is used by a rebel group in a civil war.

Table of Contents

Introduction....................................................................................................................................1

Terrorism in Civil Wars....................................................................................................................4

            The strategy of terrorism in civil wars..................................................................................5

External Support in Civil Wars........................................................................................................8

            Principal-agent model..........................................................................................................9

Motivational types and extent of external support.......................................................................10

            Figure 1...............................................................................................................................11

            Figure 2...............................................................................................................................12

External Support and Terrorism....................................................................................................12

            Resource mobilization theory.............................................................................................12

            Community support theory.................................................................................................13

            Behind the theories.............................................................................................................13

            Beyond the theories............................................................................................................14

Research Design............................................................................................................................16

            The data..............................................................................................................................16

            Variations in external support............................................................................................18

                        Figure 3....................................................................................................................19

                        Figure 4....................................................................................................................20

                        Figure 5....................................................................................................................21

            Civilians and noncombatants.............................................................................................22

Control variables...........................................................................................................................22

Results and Discussion..................................................................................................................24

                        Table 1......................................................................................................................26

                        Table 4......................................................................................................................29

                        Table 6......................................................................................................................31

                        Table 8......................................................................................................................33

Conclusion....................................................................................................................................34

Bibliography..................................................................................................................................36

Appendices...................................................................................................................................39

                        Figure 6....................................................................................................................39

                        Figure 7....................................................................................................................43

                        Figure 8....................................................................................................................43

                        Figure 9...................................................................................................................44

                        Figure 10.................................................................................................................44

                        Table 2....................................................................................................................45

                        Table 3....................................................................................................................46

                        Table 5....................................................................................................................47

                        Table 7....................................................................................................................48

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