Rebel Behavior in the Context of Interstate Competition: Exploring Day-to-Day Patterns of Political Violence in Africa.

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    • Abstract:
      This study develops a day-to-day theory of political violence that predicts that rebels respond strategically to the onset of interstate conflict that is directly related to a civil war. Government-initiated interstate conflict is theorized to incentivize rebels to signal their resolve, willingness to bear costs, and vulnerability of government forces. In addition, this form of interstate conflict is predicted to decrease violence against civilian populations, as it makes it more likely that rebels will need to rely on civilians for resources in the future. This is contrary to interstate conflict initiated by an external state, as this signal of third-party support makes civilian support more dispensable from the perspective of a rebel movement. Using a country-day data set constructed from event data, evidence is presented that is consistent with this theoretical logic. Interstate conflict, therefore, is shown to play a significant role in explaining the variation of violent events that occur on a day-to-day basis during a civil conflict. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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