The scramble for political order [electronic resource] : state breakdown and armed group proliferation in civil war
- Mark D. Jacobsen.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
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|3781 2017 J||In-library use|
- Jacobsen, Mark D.
- Fearon, James D. primary advisor. Thesis advisor
- Crenshaw, Martha, advisor. Thesis advisor
- Weingast, Barry R. advisor. Thesis advisor
- Weinstein, Jeremy M. advisor. Thesis advisor
- Stanford University. Department of Political Science.
- What explains the proliferation of armed groups during civil wars? Why do some civil wars become more fragmented than others? Many explanations for armed group fragmentation focus on characteristics of populations or armed groups themselves. In this dissertation I argue for the central importance of another variable: the strength of the state. All civil wars entail the loss of a state's monopoly on violence, but states can lose that monopoly in various ways. Variation in state strength across these different pathways into civil war largely determines the opportunity structure within which armed groups mobilize, and ultimately shapes the degree of fragmentation. State breakdowns—which encompass political paralysis and the collapse of security—are engines of fragmentation, and have a distinct logic from insurgency or conventional separatist wars. I develop and test aspects of the theory in three empirical sections. First, I explore the dynamics of state breakdown in Syria, leveraging a novel dataset compiled by The Carter Center of more than 3,000 YouTube videos announcing Syrian armed group formations. Second, I study the relationship between autocratic regime failures and armed group appearances in the universe of civil wars from 1946-2016 using the PRIO/UCDP Armed Conflict Dataset (ACD). Third, through a medium-N study of conflict episodes in modern Iraq, I contrast cases of state breakdown with cases of insurgency and conventional war.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Department of Political Science.
- Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2017.
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