Transnational dimensions of civil conflict severity

Nedrebo, Oystein (2009-12)

Thesis (MA (Political Science. International Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In an otherwise broad literature on civil conflict little attention has so far been paid to actual conflict violence and variation in severity. Existing work is also hampered by a reliance on a ‘closed polity’ model of the state, leading to disregard of the transnational dimensions of internal conflict, and by a dependence on over‐aggregated data. The present inquiry expands on the existing explanatory framework for variation in civil conflict severity by including transnational factors and characteristics of sub‐national actors. Data on conflict battle deaths are combined with recently available data on transnational ethnic linkages, transnational support and neighbouring conflict as well as other actor and country characteristics. Results from ordinary least squares regression analysis indicate that support for rebel groups from external non‐state actors increase conflict severity, while rebel presence in other states is associated with less severe conflicts. In addition, severity increases with duration but with a diminishing marginal return. Internal armed conflicts are less severe in democratic and ethnically polarised countries but rebel territorial control increases the level of violence.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die andersins omvangryke literatuur oor burgerlike konflik is daar tot op hede min aandag geskenk aan werklike konflikgeweld en variasie in felheid (vernietigende omvang). Bestaande werk word ook belemmer omdat dit staat maak op ’n model van die staat as ‘geslote regering’, wat lei tot verontagsaming van die transnasionale dimensies van interne konflik, en staat maak op oor‐geaggregeerde data. Hierdie ondersoek brei uit op die bestaande verklarende raamwerk vir variasie in felheid van burgerlike konflik deur transnasionale faktore en eienskappe van subnasionale deelnemers in te sluit. Data oor konflikgevegsterftes is gekombineer met onlangse data oor transnasionale etniese koppelings, transnasionale steun en naburige konflik, sowel as ander deelnemer‐ en landeienskappe. Resultate van gewone kleinstekwadrate‐regressie‐analise dui daarop dat steun aan rebellegroepe deur eksterne nie‐staatsdeelnemers konflikfelheid laat toeneem, terwyl rebelleteenwoordigheid in ander lande geassosieer word met minder fel konflikte. Felheid neem ook toe saam met duur maar met ’n afnemende marginale opbrengs. Interne gewapende konflikte is minder fel in demokratiese en etnies gepolariseerde lande, maar rebellebeheer oor grondgebied verhoog die vlak van geweld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/2123
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