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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam

Inside Insurgencies: Organization, Motives, and Prospects for Peace

Awarded: NOK 2.4 mill.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that non-state armed group operate by widely varying organizational structures and logics, from hierarchical top-down and bureaucratically advanced organizations to loosely knit networks of fighting units. The structure and org anizational characteristics of groups can be both a function of recruitment, training and retention practices, and results from such practices. Furthermore, motives that drive armed organizations and individuals within them can vary between having highly ideologically justified and explicit raisons d'être, in contrast to opportunist insurgents motivated by loot-seeking and personal gains. Despite the argued significance of variations on these dimensions there has been a lack of systematic data and analysi s of how organizational factors and ideological motivational factors matters for violent groups, and for the prospects of ending violence and producing peace. This project has collected and analyzed data on these dimensions of armed groups; and through th eoretical and empirical work sought to understand how different organizational and ideological characteristics emerge, and what the consequences are. The main focus of the project has been to understand how dimensions of armed group organizations matter for violent behavior and prospects for peace - particularly organizational characteristics and ideological dimensions/motivation. Within the project, data for quantitative analyses have been collected on the organizational characteristics of a global sam ple of 135 randomly selected armed groups, and a codebook describing the key variables has been written. The data collection draws on a number of sources, including media report databases, conflict databases (e.g., UCDP Conflict Database), case studies, a nd reports by the NGOs (e.g., International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch). Consultation with specific conflict experts is used to supplement and validate coding decisions. The variables include information on recruitment processes, training, and organ izational characteristics in terms of ideologies and motives. A database on religious dimensions of all rebel groups in conflicts active from 1980-2010 has also been collected and is being used in an analysis of separatist conflicts and how religious and non-religious conflicts differ. In the analyses of the statistical data, interesting lines of research related to the coupling of recruitment and particular modus operandi (such as the repertoire and timing of various forms of violence) have been develope d. The research has revealed that the nature of recruitment may greatly affect the modus operandi of armed groups, and that this is often intimately linked to ideological (particularly religious) positioning of groups and states repressive activities.

Negotiations often fail to end civil wars. This project (Inside Insurgencies) addresses why some negotiation efforts are more efficient than others in ending violence. Despite the apparent centrality of this issue to peace building, systematic scholarship has thus far been unable to provide adequate answers. To fill this lacuna, this project looks inside insurgent movements for mechanisms that explain variation in how negotiations unfold and the outcomes they produce. Within the proposed research, a theor etical framework is developed based on the interplay of two factors (1) the internal organizational structure (IOS) of insurgencies; and (2) the insurgent motives (IM). The first, internal organizational structures (specifically decision-making procedures , density of ties between actors, and mechanisms to ensure discipline), is critical for understanding how insurgencies operate as well as whether and how they can negotiate/uphold peace agreements. The second, insurgent motives, is important because it in fluences bargaining space and factionalization. Together, these two dimensions affect who enters, signs, and implements specific negotiated agreements as well as how effective these processes will be for ending violence. As conceived, Inside Insurgencies will fill an important knowledge gap in civil war studies through: 1.Theory building: Establishing a framework for understanding how insurgent internal organizational structures and insurgent motives influence the prospects for stopping violence through negotiation; 2.Data collection: Systematically mapping these variations across a large sample of civil war contexts; and, 3.Empirical analyses: Assessing how these variations influence negotiation processes and produce different outcomes in terms of th e cessation of violence.

Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam