Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

External Rebel Sponsorship and Civilian Abuse: A Principal-Agent Analysis of Wartime Atrocities

Abstract
Abstract

Although some rebel groups work hard to foster collaborative ties with civilians, others engage in egregious abuses and war crimes. We argue that foreign state funding for rebel organizations greatly reduces incentives to “win the hearts and minds” of civilians because it diminishes the need to collect resources from the population. However, unlike other lucrative resources, foreign funding of rebel groups must be understood in principal-agent terms. Some external principals—namely, democracies and states with strong human rights lobbies—are more concerned with atrocities in the conflict zone than others. Multiple state principals also lead to abuse because no single state can effectively restrain the organization. We test these conjectures with new data on foreign support for rebel groups and data on one-sided violence against civilians. Most notably, we find strong evidence that principal characteristics help influence agent actions.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Navin Bapat . 2006. State Bargaining with Transnational Terrorist Groups. International Studies Quarterly 50 (1):213–30.

Bear Braumoeller . 2004. Hypothesis Testing and Multiplicative Interaction Terms. International Organization 58 (4):807–20.

Halvard Buhaug , and Päivi Lujala . 2005. Accounting for Scale: Measuring Geography in Quantitative Studies of Civil War. Political Geography 24 (4):399418.

Daniel Byman , and Sarah Kreps . 2010. Agents of Destruction? Applying Principal-Agent Analysis to State-Sponsored Terrorism. International Studies Perspectives 11 (1):118.

Jeffrey Checkel , ed. 2013. Transnational Dynamics of Civil War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

David Cingranelli , and Thomas Pasquarello . 1985. Human Rights Practices and the Distribution of US Foreign Aid to Latin American Countries. American Journal of Political Science 29 (3):539–63.

Paul Collier , and Anke Hoeffler . 2004. Greed and Grievance in Civil War. Oxford Economic Papers 56 (4):563–95.

David Cunningham , Kristian Gleditsch , and Idean Salehyan . 2009. It Takes Two: A Dyadic Analysis of Civil War Duration and Outcome. Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (4):570–97.

Christopher Day . 2011. The Fates of Rebels: Insurgencies in Uganda. Comparative Politics 43 (4):439–58.

Alexander B. Downes 2006. Desperate Times, Desperate Measures: The Causes of Civilian Victimization in War. International Security 30 (4):152–95.

Alexander B. Downes 2007. Draining the Sea by Filling the Graves: Investigating the Effectiveness of Indiscriminate Violence as a Counterinsurgency Strategy. Civil Wars 9 (4):420–44.

Kristine Eck , and Lisa Hultman . 2007. One-Sided Violence Against Civilians in War: Insights from New Fatality Data. Journal of Peace Research 44 (2):233–46.

Scott Gates . 2002. Recruitment and Allegiance: The Microfoundations of Rebellion. Journal of Conflict Revolution 46 (1):111–30.

Elisabeth Gilmore , Nils Petter Gleditsch , Päivi Lujala , and Jan Ketil Rød . 2005. Conflict Diamonds: A New Dataset. Conflict Management and Peace Science 22 (3):257–72.

Jerry L. Hintze , and Ray D. Nelson . 1998. Violin Plots: A Box Plot-Density Trace Synergism. The American Statistician 52 (2):181–84.

Daniel Hoffman . 2004. The Civilian Target in Sierra Leone and Liberia: Political Power, Military Strategy, and Humanitarian Intervention. African Affairs 103 (411):211–26.

Lucy Hovil , and Erik Werker . 2005. Portrait of a Failed Rebellion: An Account of Rational, Sub-Optimal Violence in Western Uganda. Rationality and Society 17 (1):534.

Lisa Hultman . 2012. Attacks on Civilians in Civil War: Targeting the Achilles Heel of Democratic Governments. International Interactions 38 (2):164–81.

Stathis N. Kalyvas 1999. Wanton and Senseless? The Logic of Massacres in Algeria. Rationality and Society 11 (3):243–85.

Stathis N. Kalyvas 2006. The Logic of Violence in Civil War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Michele Leiby . 2009. Wartime Sexual Violence in Guatemala and Peru. International Studies Quarterly 53 (2):445–68.

Mark Irving Lichbach . 1995. The Rebel's Dilemma. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Päivi Lujala . 2009. Deadly Combat over Natural Resources: Gems, Petroleum, Drugs, and the Severity of Armed Civil Conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (1):5071.

Jason Lyall . 2009. Does Indiscriminate Violence Incite Insurgent Attacks?: Evidence from Chechnya. Journal of Conflict Resolution 53 (3):331–62.

T. David Mason , and Dale A. Krane . 1989. The Political Economy of Death Squads: Toward a Theory of the Impact of State-Sanctioned Terror. International Studies Quarterly 33 (2):175–98.

James Meernik , Eric Krueger , and Steven Poe . 1998. Testing Models of US Foreign Policy: Foreign Aid During and After the Cold War. Journal of Politics 60 (1):6385.

Gil Merom . 2003. How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Amanda Murdie , and David Davis . 2012. Shaming and Blaming: Using Events Data to Assess the Impact of Human Rights INGOs. International Studies Quarterly 56 (1):116.

Steven Poe . 1991. Human Rights and the Allocation of US Military Assistance. Journal of Peace Research 28 (2):205–16.

Patrick Regan . 2000. Civil Wars and Foreign Powers: Outside Intervention in Intrastate Conflict. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Siri Aas Rustad , and Helga Malmin Binningsbø . 2012. A Price Worth Fighting for? Natural Resources and Conflict Recurrence. Journal of Peace Research 49 (4):531–46.

Idean Salehyan . 2010. The Delegation of War to Rebel Organizations. Journal of Conflict Resolution 54 (3):493515.

David E.M. Sappington 1991. Incentives in Principal-Agent Relationships. Journal of Economic Perspectives 5 (2):4566.

Elisabeth Jean Wood . 2003. Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

John Young . 1997. Peasant Revolution in Ethiopia: The Tigray People's Liberation Front, 1975–1991. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Max Abrahms . 2008. What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterinsurgency Strategy. International Security 32 (4):78105.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Salehyan Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material

 Unknown (34 KB)
34 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 11
Total number of PDF views: 381 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 903 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.