Journal of Conflict Resolution

Publisher:
Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
2021-08-12
ISBN:
0022-0027

Latest documents

  • Deterrence and Restraint: Do Joint Military Exercises Escalate Conflict?

    Multinational military exercises are among the most notable demonstrations of military cooperation and intent. On average, one is initiated every 8.9 days. But it has often been argued that joint military exercises (JMEs) increase the risk of war. Using a relational contracting approach, we claim that formal military alliances mediate the effect of JMEs. Exercises and alliances serve complementary functions: The former allows targeted responses to military provocations by adversaries, while the latter provides institutional constraints on partners and establishes a partnership’s overall strategic limitations. In combination, alliances dampen the conflict escalation effects of exercises, deterring adversaries while simultaneously restraining partners. We test this theory using a two-stage model on directed dyadic data of JMEs from 1973 through 2003. We find that JMEs in general do not escalate conflict, and that JMEs conducted with allies in particular reduce the probability of conflict escalation.

  • Indirect Governance at War: Delegation and Orchestration in Rebel Support

    Instead of attacking their adversaries directly, states often do so indirectly by supporting rebel groups. While these support relationships vary considerably, existing research lacks a comprehensive account thereof. To explain states’ choice of support, we suggest differentiating between two modes of support relationships according to the control opportunities they offer states over rebels: while delegation enables “hands-on” control, “hands-off” orchestration allows for plausible deniability and does not harm rebels’ local legitimacy. We argue that sponsors prefer orchestration when “hands-on” control can be substituted by goal alignment or competition; and they prefer delegation when the conflict is highly salient. Tests using global data for the period 1975-2009 support the first two expectations. Surprisingly, states’ capabilities also render “hands-off” orchestration more likely. The paper advances the understanding of external rebel support by transferring insights from indirect governance theory to the study of indirect wars and putting it to statistical test.

  • Revisiting Opportunism in Civil Conflict: Natural Resource Extraction and Health Care Provision

    What is the relationship between natural resources and rebel governance? Previous studies have argued that resource rich groups have fewer incentives to provide social services. We argue, however, that even well-funded rebels may have incentives to provide some social services to civilians. Specifically, rebel groups profiting from the extraction of natural resources should be more likely to offer health care services as a means of ensuring a dependable civilian workforce than groups who do not profit from natural resources. Using data on both the extraction of natural resources and social service provision by rebel groups, we find strong empirical evidence to support our argument. We conclude with implications for scholars and policymakers.

  • Introducing the Deadly Electoral Conflict Dataset (DECO)

    This article introduces the Deadly Electoral Conflict dataset (DECO): a global, georeferenced event dataset on electoral violence with lethal outcomes from 1989 to 2017. DECO allows for empirical evaluation of theories relating to the timing, location, and dynamics of deadly electoral violence. By clearly distinguishing electoral violence from related (and sometimes concurrent) instances of organized violence, DECO is particularly suitable for investigating how election-related violence is connected to other forms of violent political contention. In the article, we present the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the data collection and discuss empirical patterns that emerge in DECO. We also demonstrate one potential use of DECO by examining the association between United Nations peacekeeping forces and the prevalence of deadly electoral violence in conflict-affected countries.

  • Politics or Performance? Leadership Accountability in UN Peacekeeping

    International organizations face a trade-off between the need to replace poorly performing leaders and the imperative of preserving the loyalty of influential or pivotal member states. This performance-politics dilemma is particularly acute in UN peacekeeping. Leaders of peacekeeping operations are responsible for ensuring that peacekeepers implement mandates, maintain discipline, and stay safe. Yet, if leaders fail to do so, is the UN Secretariat able and willing to replace them? We investigate newly collected data on the tenure of 238 civilian and military leaders in thirty-eight peacekeeping operations, 1978 to 2017. We find that the tenures of civilian leaders are insensitive to performance, but that military leaders in poorly performing missions are more likely to be replaced. We also find evidence that political considerations complicate the UN’s efforts at accountability. Holding mission performance constant, military leaders from countries that are powerful or contribute large numbers of troops stay longer in post.

  • Collective Risk and Distributional Equity in Climate Change Bargaining

    International climate negotiations occur against the backdrop of increasing collective risk: the likelihood of catastrophic economic loss due to climate change will continue to increase unless and until global mitigation efforts are sufficient to prevent it. We introduce a novel alternating-offers bargaining model that incorporates this characteristic feature of climate change. We test the model using an incentivized experiment. We manipulate two important distributional equity principles: capacity to pay for mitigation of climate change and vulnerability to its potentially catastrophic effects. Our results show that less vulnerable parties do not exploit the greater vulnerability of their bargaining partners. They are, rather, more generous. Conversely, parties with greater capacity are less generous in their offers. Both collective risk itself and its importance in light of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report make it all the more urgent to better understand this crucial strategic feature of climate change bargaining.

  • Mapping the International System, 1886-2019: The CShapes 2.0 Dataset

    This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

  • How Repression Affects Public Perceptions of Police: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Uganda

    What are the effects of state repression on public perceptions of police? And to what extent are these effects uniform or conditional on individuals’ loyalty to political authorities? I argue that repression by the police negatively affects how people evaluate the police, especially among those who do not support the ruling party. People who oppose the regime are more likely to fear the police following a repressive event relative to regime supporters. To test this argument, I leverage a unique research design opportunity that emerges from the social media tax protest led by Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (also known as Bobi Wine) and subsequent selective repression by the Uganda Police Force while a nationally representative survey on police and security was being administered in Uganda. I demonstrate selective repression of protesters decreased support for the police. These effects are largely driven by political loyalty; repression has a stronger effect on how members of the opposition evaluate the police relative to incumbent supporters.

  • Bruce Russett Award for Article of the Year in JCR for 2020
  • Policing and Political Violence

    The police are often key actors in conflict processes, yet there is little research on their role in the production of political violence. Previous research provides us with a limited understanding of the part the police play in preventing or mitigating the onset or escalation of conflict, in patterns of repression and resistance during conflict, and in the durability of peace after conflicts are resolved. By unpacking the role of state security actors and asking how the state assigns tasks among them—as well as the consequences of these decisions—we generate new research paths for scholars of conflict and policing. We review existing research in the field, highlighting recent findings, including those from the articles in this special issue. We conclude by arguing that the fields of policing and conflict research have much to gain from each other and by discussing future directions for policing research in conflict studies.

Featured documents

  • A Typology of Rebel Political Institutional Arrangements

    What are the different political institutions rebels create to engage captive civilian populations, and how do they arrive at distinct political arrangements? Rebel-controlled territories host a diversity of political institutions ranging from structures designed to promote democratic decision-makin...

  • Youth Bulges and Civil Conflict

    The presence of an exceptionally large youth population, that is, a youth bulge, is often associated with an elevated risk of civil conflict. In this article, we develop an instrumental variable approach in which the size of the youth cohorts in Sub-Saharan Africa is identified using variation in...

  • Deterrence and Restraint: Do Joint Military Exercises Escalate Conflict?

    Multinational military exercises are among the most notable demonstrations of military cooperation and intent. On average, one is initiated every 8.9 days. But it has often been argued that joint military exercises (JMEs) increase the risk of war. Using a relational contracting approach, we claim...

  • Revisiting Opportunism in Civil Conflict: Natural Resource Extraction and Health Care Provision

    What is the relationship between natural resources and rebel governance? Previous studies have argued that resource rich groups have fewer incentives to provide social services. We argue, however, that even well-funded rebels may have incentives to provide some social services to civilians....

  • Focal Moments and Protests in Autocracies: How Pro-democracy Anniversaries Shape Dissent in China

    Social scientists have long observed that focal points enable citizens to coordinate collective action. For antiregime protests in autocracies, however, focal points also enable repressive governments to prepare in advance. We propose a theory to explain when citizens are likely to employ focal...

  • Fraud Is What People Make of It: Election Fraud, Perceived Fraud, and Protesting in Nigeria

    Why do fraudulent elections encourage protesting? Scholars suggest that information about fraud shapes individuals’ beliefs and propensity to protest. Yet these accounts neglect the complexity of opinion formation and have not been tested at the individual level. We distinguish between the...

  • Militias, Ideology, and the State

    Research on militias portrays them as subservient proxies of governments used to achieve tactical goals. The conventional wisdom, however, ignores the diversity of state–militia relations. This article outlines four distinct strategies that states can pursue toward militias, ranging from...

  • How Social Media Is Changing Conflict

    Social media increasingly plays a role in conflict and contentious politics. Politicians, leaders, insurgents, and protestors all have used it as a tool for communication. At the same time, scholars have turned to social media as a source of new data on conflict. I provide a framework for...

  • Insiders versus Outsiders

    A growing literature examines the link between preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and peace among member states. However, despite the potentially competitive nature of these agreements, there has been little research examining whether and how PTAs could induce hostilities between members and...

  • Exploring the Universe of UN Human Rights Agreements

    The international human rights (HR) regime is vast and complex. Yet, most of what we know about it draws from a handful of agreements, often chosen for their prominence and/or perceived centrality to the HR project. This article argues that HR research needs to expand its scope to encompass all...

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