State-society relations in civil conflicts
Kıbrıs, Arzu and Kıbrıs, Özgür (2017) State-society relations in civil conflicts. Terrorism and Political Violence . ISSN 0954-6553 (Print) 1556-1836 (Online) Published Online First http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2017.1364634
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2017.1364634
Civil conflicts are conceptualized as asymmetric, population-centric military struggles. The argument is that insurgencies, even though they are no match in military power to their state adversaries in many cases, resort to armed struggle nonetheless as a tool to impair state capacity, the quality of governance, and the ability of the state to honor the “social contract” in order to eventually destroy state authority and render the state irrelevant for the society. Note that this argument implies that state-society relations do react to the military course of the conflict. In this article, we provide empirical evidence for this implication. Introducing a new panel dataset on the long-running civil conflict in Turkey, we first conduct a micro-level analysis and demonstrate the significant impact rebel presence has upon state-society relations across localities and time. We then analyze the results of semi-structured interviews we had conducted with a group of experts from the conflict regions to decipher the possible mechanisms behind the association we observe in the data. The interviews support our motivating theoretical argument.
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