Violent Order

Violent Order

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Rebel groups exhibit significant variation in their treatment of civilians, with profound humanitarian consequences. This dissertation proposes a new theory of rebel behavior and cohesion based on the internal dynamics of rebel groups. Rebel leaders have incentives to provide security, but are often unable to prevent group members from abusing civilians. Leaders exert effective control over their troops when they can offer cash payments and credible future rewards to their top commanders. Leaders who cannot offer these incentives allow their forces to loot locals in exchange for a minimal level of loyalty. The leader's ability to offer incentives that allow local security to prevail depends on partnerships with external actors such as diaspora communities and foreign governments. When these patrons have a stake in the group's success, they are motivated to supply financial resources to qualified, trusted leaders. Other patrons have goals that conflict with those of the rebel client. These patrons exert leverage over the rebels by supporting low quality leaders and withholding resources that could strengthen leader control, resulting in more abusive, faction-prone groups. The type of partnership available depends on factors beyond the group's control. The dissertation formalizes this theory and tests the implications in various ways, using an original cross-national dataset of rebel groups, 1980-2003, as well as a micro-level dataset of crop area during Liberia's war, derived through remote sensing. The dissertation also traces the model's logic through a detailed analysis of Liberia's rebel groups, based on fourteen months of fieldwork and interviews with nearly all surviving rebel leaders and top commanders who participated in Liberia's war, guerrilla tactics and the a€œEleven General Principles of Leadershipa€, developed by the US. Marine Corps.8 Competent recruits received positions as squad leaders after the completion of training, while the most promising ... of responsibility in your subordinates; (9) Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished; (10) Build the team; (11) Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities.

Title:Violent Order
Author:Nicholai Hart Lidow
Publisher:Stanford University - 2011


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