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A Particular Difference: European Identity and Civilian Targeting

  • Tanisha M. Fazal and Brooke C. Greene
Abstract

Recent scholarship has found identity variables to be insignificant predictors of civilian targeting in war. Drawing on the European origins of the law of war, this article argues that previous scholarship has neglected the one specification of ‘identity’ that is most theoretically justified for understanding civilian targeting: whether a European state is fighting a non-European state. This article replicates and extends three recent statistical analyses – Downes; Valentino, Huth and Croco; and Morrow – of civilian targeting by including a variable capturing whether a European state fought a non-European state. The study finds that civilian targeting, and non compliance with the law of war more generally, is significantly more likely in European v. non-European dyads than in other types of dyads.

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Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame (email: tfazal@nd.edu); Department of Clinical Psychology, City University of New York (email: bgreene2@ccny.cuny.edu). For valuable comments and suggestions, we thank Michael Doyle, Alex Downes, Matt Evangelista, Page Fortna, Tonya Putnam and Jack Snyder. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association. Online appendices and data replication sets are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123414000210.

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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