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Title: The Effect of State Killing of Civilians on Anti-State Violence: Case Studies of Syria & Nigeria
Authors: Hansen, Valarie
Advisors: Shapiro, Jake
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: This paper explores the effect of a state’s abuses of physical integrity rights on levels of violence against the state. Specifically, the goal is to identify the causal relationship between significant state human rights abuses (the killing of civilians) and levels of insurgency carried out by civilians in that state. Various scholars have proposed that this causal relationship could work in either direction, with state abuses increasing or decreasing anti-state violence. This paper examines two case studies, the Syrian civil war and the Boko Haram violence in Nigeria, to quantitatively reveal the effects that state killing of civilians has on subsequent levels of anti-state violence. In both of the cases, analysis of micro-level conflict data suggests that government killings of civilians increased the likelihood of insurgent violence. These findings support the theory that government killing of civilians causes anti-government sentiment, leading civilians to support insurgent groups with membership, funds, or information.
Extent: 88 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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