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The Impact of Pro-Government Militias on Human Rights Violations

Mitchell, NJ; Carey, SC; Butler, CK; (2014) The Impact of Pro-Government Militias on Human Rights Violations. International Interactions , 40 (5) 812 - 836. 10.1080/03050629.2014.932783. Green open access

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New data show that between 1982 and 2007, in over 60 countries governments were linked to and cooperated with informal armed groups within their own borders. Given the prevalence of these linkages, we ask how such links between governments and informal armed groups influence the risk of repression. We draw on principal-agent arguments to explore how issues of monitoring and control help understanding of the impact of militias on human rights violations. We argue that such informal agents increase accountability problems for the governments, which is likely to worsen human rights conditions for two reasons. First, it is more difficult for governments to control and to train these militias, and they may have private interests in the use of violence. Second, informal armed groups allow governments to shift responsibility and use repression for strategic benefits while evading accountability. Using a global dataset from 1982 to 2007, we show that pro-government militias increase the risk of repression and that the presence of militias also affects the type of violations that we observe.

Type: Article
Title: The Impact of Pro-Government Militias on Human Rights Violations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03050629.2014.932783
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03050629.2014.932783
Language: English
Additional information: Published with license by Taylor & Francis© Neil J. Mitchell, Sabine C. Carey, and Christopher K. Butler This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted. Permission is granted subject to the terms of the License under which the work was published. Please check the License conditions for the work which you wish to reuse. Full and appropriate attribution must be given. This permission does not cover any third party copyrighted material which may appear in the work requested.
Keywords: Human rights violation, militias, nonstate actors, principal-agent models, repression
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/1465819
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