Civil Conflict-Civil Peace
- Butler, Christopher K. , David E. Cunningham, and Scott Gates. Explaining Civil War Severity: A Formal Model and Empirical Analysis.
- Butler, Christopher K., and Scott Gates. Communal Violence and Property Rights.
Abstract: We examine the interactions of non-state actors (specifically pastoralists and farmers) when state provided property-rights protection (PRP) is neither perfect nor absent. PRP is modeled as potentially biased towards one interpretation of property rights over another interpretation. Using a contest success function model, we demonstrate that the following non-monotonic result exists. If a society has a moderate level of PRP but some degree of bias away from equity, increasing PRP can result in either a decrease or an increase in total appropriative effort. Thus, simply increasing PRP without addressing equity issues can increase the level of conflict in the society
- Cunningham, Kathleen Gallagher, Scott Gates, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, and Ragnhild Nordås. Grounds for Separation: Religion and Recruitment in Separatist Conflicts.
- Dahl, Marianne, Scott Gates, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, and Belén González. Accounting for Numbers: How Group Characteristics Shape the Choice of Violent and Non-Violent Tactics.
- Dahl, Marianne, Scott Gates, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, and Håvard Strand. The Logic of Nonviolent Revolutions.
Abstract: Nonviolent campaigns succeed twice as often as violent rebellions. To better understand why strategic non-violence works, we analyze two sets of strategic interactions. The first involves the mobilization of civil society. The second regards the interactions between civil society and the incumbent regime. Popular mobilization critically depends on overcoming both the collective action problem and the response from the incumbent regime. We develop a model that shows when civil society collective action is likely to succeed, and when mobilization is likely to lead to defection or principled shirking among members of the security apparatus. These two strategic interactions are treated as a nested game. The two games are conformationally and strategically linked. Non-violent strategies affect all aspects of the game, affecting civil society and how well the autocratic coalition holds together. The model explains why civil resistance works. We test the implications of the model statistically, and find support for the key propositions.
- Gates, Scott and Mogens Kamp Justesen. Political Trust, Shocks, and Accountability: Quasi-experimental Evidence from a Rebel Attack.
Abstract: This paper examines how violent attacks affect political trust and accountability of democratic governments – and ultimately their chances of surviving in office. Using the case of an unanticipated attack by Tuareg rebels on a military garrison in the West African country of Mali in December 2008, we examine how the attack affected presidential approval and presidential trust. We do so by using survey data which – coincidentally – was collected in the days surrounding the Tuareg attack. The chance occurrence of the attack a few days into the survey demarcates respondents into a group surveyed before the attack and a group surveyed after the attack. We exploit the quasi-experimental nature of this design to study how the public’s presidential approval and trust responds to the news of the rebel attack. The credibility of the quasi-experimental design is strengthened by the fact that respondents in the particular region where the attack was carried out were interviewed in the days surrounding the attack, allowing us to mitigate the effects of geographically imbalanced sampling of respondents. To further enhance the credibility of our results, we also conduct a series of placebo tests using earlier surveys of voters in Mali. Our estimates clearly show that presidential approval and trust decrease significantly following the attack. However, the results also suggest that voters mainly attribute responsibility to the president. While parliamentary approval and trust also declines, voters’ approval of and trust in local governments is unaffected. This suggests that in presidential systems, voters do in fact attribute responsibility for political violence such as rebel attacks mainly to the president and to a lesser extent to parliament and local governments.
- Gates, Scott and Ragnhild Nordås. Recruitment, Retention, and Religion in Rebel Groups.
Abstract: Utilizing a principal-agent analysis of participation and incentive compatibility constraints, we develop a formal model of recruitment and retention in a rebel group with and without contestation. The model better accounts for positive utility from fighting, and is therefore useful for understanding recruitment and retention in a wider set of rebel groups, ranging from loot-seeking organizations motivated by private benefits on the one hand, to groups driven by individuals motivated by communal benefits or extreme religious principles on the other. We explore the differences between groups of varying degrees of extremist and non-extremist doctrine, focusing on the mobilization to such groups.The model shows a number of marked advantages for a group to adopt an extremist position.
- Gates, Scott and Kaare W. Strøm. Warlords, Complicit Publics, and Civil Conflict.
Abstract: Factional warlords given to the use of armed force are a depressingly common phenomenon in poor and divided societies, such as Liberia and other countries torn by civil conflict. Drawing on a model of adverse selection, we show why groups at risk in such divided and conflict-prone polities often select military or paramilitary strongmen, rather than civilian politicians, as their leaders. Our model demonstrates that under incomplete information rebel groups’ choice of political leaders depends on three parameters: the type of political candidates on offer (whether munificent or greedy), the relative bargaining power of the rebel group relative to the government, and any constraints on the ability of rebel leaders to divert public resources for their own private gain.
- Holtermann, Helge and Scott Gates. Divided State Authority and the Termination of Civil Conflict: Exploring the Case of Nepal.+++
- Strand, Håvard and Scott Gates. Modeling the Duration of Civil Wars: Measurement and Estimation Issues.