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Title: How Emotions Shape Organized Sub-State Conflict
Authors: Shaver, Andrew Curtis
Advisors: Shapiro, Jacob N
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Keywords: Civil War
Subjects: International relations
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation consists of three studies of sub-state conflict. The first two explore particular emotional influences on the judgments and behaviors of combatants and civilians during organized conflict. The third examines information dynamics during insurgency. Chapter 1 explores the combined role of a war-fighting institution's strategic calculations and its combatants' individual emotional reactions in producing violence. Using newly declassified micro-conflict data and leveraging the firmly established phenomenon of ambient temperature's effect on aggression, this chapter shows that during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars temperature exercised substantively large and non-strategic effects on the attitudes and behaviors of conflict participants. Temperature influenced the type and intensity of insurgent attacks, the odds of insurgent fatalities during skirmishes, and the willingness of military-age men to endorse the use of violence against international forces. Chapter 2 considers the effect of civilians' employment status during conflict on their support for political violence. Although the unemployed are often inculpated in violence production during sub-state conflict, the results of prior work on the relationship between unemployment and wartime violence are ambiguous. This chapter contends that loss of employment during conflict increases feelings of depression, anxiety and helplessness, affecting perceptions of efficacy and the desire for retribution. Using data from a large Iraq War survey, the chapter shows that underemployed Iraqis were consistently less optimistic than other citizens; displayed diminished perceptions of efficacy; and were much less likely to support the use of violence against international forces. Chapter 3 explores the relationship between wartime informing by civilians and the production of violence by insurgents. Using newly available data on calls placed to a ``tips'' telephone hotline operated during the Iraq War, the chapter reveals that insurgents' efforts to overwhelm the platform were extensive and that intelligence received through the hotline was associated with reductions in the most organized forms of violence and increases in the least organized forms. These patterns are consistent with informing enabling operations against insurgents' weapons supplies and managers, leading to the substitution of highly planned attacks with attacks requiring the least coordination.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

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