Insurgent-Population Ties and the Variation in the Trajectory of Peripheral Civil Wars

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This article seeks to account for the variation in the trajectory of conflict in the context of peripheral civil wars by emphasizing the importance of rebel-population ties. In examining the trajectory of peripheral civil wars, it expands the range of outcomes traditionally examined in the literature. The empirical validity of the theoretical argument is tested using a new data set of 166 rebel groups involved in 58 peripheral insurgencies between 1960 and 2010. I trace social embeddedness of rebel groups to pre-war political processes and institutions. Rebel groups are coded on six characteristics to create a 7-point rebel-type scale as a measure of their embeddedness in the population. The results provide support to the argument that the social embeddedness of a rebel group exercises a significant effect on the trajectory of peripheral civil wars. However, the substantive effect of embeddedness on some outcomes is more pronounced than on others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1470-1500
Number of pages31
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • ethno-nationalist
  • outcomes
  • peripheral civil wars
  • rebel groups
  • social embeddedness

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