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Understanding Violent Nonstate Group Composition and Behavior Using New Data

Sat, September 1, 8:00 to 9:30am, Marriott, St. Botolph

Session Submission Type: Full Paper Panel

Session Description

The papers on this panel examine how various organizational traits of violent non-state actors shape their conflict behaviors and fates, and they all do so using new data on these organizations. Thus, their contributions will be two-fold: developing compelling new theories, and using original data to assess the empirical validity of these theories. Two papers use novel datasets on characteristics of rebel leaders in order to assess how the leader’s motives and military experience impacts group fragmentation as well as how a leader’s age and education shapes the ability of the rebel group to mobilize support and ultimately defeat the government. A third paper considers the role of civilian support (or lack thereof) in influencing the use of terrorism by rebel groups in civil war, using a new dataset on these attacks as well as leveraging a case study of ISIS attacks in Iraq and Syria. The fourth paper employs original data on interactions between violent non-state actors to better understand when such cooperative relationships emerge.

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