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Strategic Rebels: A spatial econometric approach to rebel fighting durations in civil wars

Metternich, N; Wucherpfennig, J; (2020) Strategic Rebels: A spatial econometric approach to rebel fighting durations in civil wars. International Interactions: Empirical and Theoretical Research in International Relations , 46 (3) pp. 334-371. 10.1080/03050629.2020.1737800. Green open access

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Abstract

Recent research on multi-actor civil wars highlights that rebel organizations condition their conflict behavior on that of other rebel organizations, with competition and free-riding constituting the core theoretical mechanisms. We provide a new actor-centric approach to explicitly model strategic interdependence in multi-actor civil wars. We argue that rebel organizations have incentives to remain mobilized until the end of a conflict to maintain their power to negotiate, power to spoil, power to enforce, and power to protect. This induces strategic complements that dominate duration dynamics in multi-actor conflicts. Based on a network game-theoretic model, we derive a spatial econometric framework that allows for a direct test of strategic interdependence. We find that the estimated duration interdependence is positive but partially offset in secessionist conflicts where the public goods nature of the incompatibility also induces strategic substitution effects.

Type: Article
Title: Strategic Rebels: A spatial econometric approach to rebel fighting durations in civil wars
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03050629.2020.1737800
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/03050629.2020.1737800
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Civil war, duration analysis; network games; spatial econometrics; strategic interaction
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094091
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