The Tactical Use of Civil Resistance by Rebel Groups: Evidence from India's Maoist Insurgency

Autor(en): Krtsch, Roman
Stichwörter: asymmetric conflict; capabilities; civil wars; Government & Law; internal armed conflict; International Relations; Political Science
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Herausgeber: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
Journal: JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Volumen: 65
Ausgabe: 7-8
Startseite: 1251
Seitenende: 1277
Zusammenfassung: 
Research on rebel behavior during conflicts has traditionally focused on the use of violent tactics. However, evidence from several intrastate wars suggests that armed groups also occasionally employ general strikes-a method of civil resistance that has typically been associated with nonviolent groups. But when do rebels resort to general strikes? I argue that these tactics have a particular function which can offset potential risks for rebels after they have suffered losses in previous battles: Through general strikes, rebels signal sustained authority to the local population. The argument is tested for districts in Eastern India using newly compiled, disaggregated data on contentious action during the Maoist conflict. The paper contributes to a burgeoning literature on wartime civilian activism in two ways: First, it shows that armed groups themselves rely situationally on civilian mobilization. Second, it investigates the effect of conditions endogenous to the conflict on these tactical choices.
ISSN: 00220027
DOI: 10.1177/0022002721995547

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