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Gregory Luebbert Book Award – Comparative Politics (Section 20)
Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics
If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly. Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission. Using detailed data on tax collection and insurgent participation in towns and villages of Navarre, he reports a positive correlation between geographical location proximity to towns and major roads and efficacy in taxation by the French, and an inverse correlation between the efficacy of taxation which was likely to produce considerable grievance and popular participation in the insurgency.
Contrary to what one would expect, where the French were able to tax, and therefore aggrieve, the population, they did not face an insurgency. In contrast, the more remote the region, the more successful was guerrilla taxation and the more likely were men to join the insurgency. In a similar fashion, the clergy in Galicia collaborated with the French in the cities but favored the resistance in the countryside. Related to the question of the origins of allegiances is a final puzzle, the oft-noted presence of a disjunction between the macrolevel causes of the war and the microlevel patterns of violence.
Consider Palestine in the late s, where a rebellion against the British, known as thawra revolt , has been described as a nationalist insurrection of the Palestinians against British colonialism. In his superb study, Ted Swedenburg found that the rebel military structure often reflected rather than transcended existing divisions among Palestinians. Because guerrilla bands were based on families or clans, their mobilization triggered all sorts of divisions into new disputes, turning the rebellion against the British into a civil war among the Palestinians.
Competing village groups tried to exploit rival rebel factions for their own purposes, each group occasionally denouncing a member of the opposing family group as a spy in order to incite the rebel chieftain with whom it was aligned to punish that group. In the course of these disputes, a significant number of Palestinians ended up collaborating with the British and fighting against their ethnic kin.
In short, the prevailing description of this conflict based on a key cleavage British versus Palestinian and a central political issue nationalism is partially misleading as to the motivations and identities of many participants and the dynamics of the violence. In a different formulation, the habitually cited causes of group division e. Consider again the Argolid in southern Greece, which was a remarkably homogeneous place, lacking deep cleavages.
Yet it went through a savage civil war that caused the death of close to 2 percent of the rural population. Why would a place lacking all conditions that supposedly cause civil strife experience such a tragedy? This simultaneous absence of deep divisions and presence of mass violence force us to rethink approaches that trace mass violence to such divisions and ask whether violence really is the direct result of deep divisions, even when and where such divisions exist.
This book is simultaneously conceptual and positive, theoretical and empirical. It is difficult to understate the importance of a clear conceptualization of what remains a highly confused set of issues. We ridicule today the strange polemics built up by the doctors of the Middle Ages upon the basis of their concepts of cold, warm, humid, dry, etc. Civil war is defined as armed combat within the boundaries of a recognized sovereign entity between parties subject to a common authority at the outset of the hostilities.
Within civil war, my focus is on violence committed intentionally against noncombatants. This sort of violence is a phenomenon that has long remained off research limits because of its conceptual complexity and empirical opacity. From a methodological point of view, I show the importance of systematic research at the microlevel. Typically, microlevel evidence tends to be marginalized as irrelevant or too messy.
Here, I show a possible way of achieving this integration. I begin with a simplified and abstract characterization of violence in civil war, yet one that stands on well-specified conceptual foundations. I analytically decouple civil war violence from civil war.
I show that despite its many different forms and the various goals to which it is harnessed across time and place, violence in civil war often displays some critical recurring elements. Rather than just posit this point, I coherently reconceptualize observations that surface in tens of descriptive accounts and demonstrate that seemingly random anecdotes tend to be facets of the same phenomenon.
https://wingtrudmicgi.ga The positive component of the book consists of two parts: a theory of irregular war and a microfoundational theory of violence with two strands: indiscriminate and selective. Unlike existing work, the theory stresses the joint character of civil war violence, entailing an interaction between actors at the central and local levels, and between combatants and noncombatants.
This interaction is informed by the demands of irregular war, the logic of asymmetric information, and the local dynamics of rivalries. From the theory, I specify a model of selective violence that is consistent with the theoretical characterization, in which the interaction between actors operating at different levels results in the production of violence in a systematic and predictable way. This exercise yields counterintuitive empirical predictions about the spatial variation of violence at the microlevel, which I subject to an empirical test using data I collected in Greece.
The empirical test confirms the explanatory power of the theory in a limited setting, whereas evidence from a wide array of civil wars suggests broader plausibility.
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Of course, the general validity of the theory awaits further empirical testing. On the whole, this book diverges from studies that approach violence in a normative way Sorel or via interpretation or hermeneutical reflection e. It also diverges from studies that rely on inductive data analysis e.