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Who Joins and Who Fights? Explaining Tacit Coalition Behavior among Civil War Actors

Steinwand, Martin C; Metternich, Nils W; (2022) Who Joins and Who Fights? Explaining Tacit Coalition Behavior among Civil War Actors. International Studies Quarterly , 66 (4) , Article sqac077. 10.1093/isq/sqac077. Green open access

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Abstract

Which armed organizations form coalitions despite the inherent difficulties of cooperation in civil wars? We introduce the concept of tacit coalitions, which pertains to strategic and informal coalition behavior between civil war actors to address this puzzle. Our theoretical model of coalition behavior takes in theater-wide conflict behavior to allow for predictions that coalitions are more likely to form. It provides novel insights into the way military synergies within potential coalitions affect the trade-off between pooling resources and worrying about the division of gains. The empirical section finds considerable support for our theoretical argument that actors are more likely to engage in tacit coalition behavior (1) if potential coalitions are power balanced, (2) if joint capability of potential coalitions is not too high, and (3) when coalitions can unlock synergies. In addition, it produces evidence for the important role of geography and ethnic ties in generating military synergies.

Type: Article
Title: Who Joins and Who Fights? Explaining Tacit Coalition Behavior among Civil War Actors
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqac077
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqac077
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) (2022). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Studies Association. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
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/10159022
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