Non-state actors and political conflict
Bapat, Navin A.
Morgan, T. Clifton
Doctor of Philosophy
In the vast majority of international relations literature, states are assumed to have a monopoly on the use of force throughout their territory. However, states are increasingly facing considerable security challenges from militant non-state actors. In the vast majority of these cases, state/non-state actor conflict is terminated through violent conflict, often with devastating consequences. Given this empirical pattern, a disturbing trend is the internationalization of conflicts between states and non-state actors. Increasingly, non-state actors move their base of operations to foreign host states in order to increase the target's cost of retaliation. This behavior holds the potential to escalate conflicts from civil war to interstate or regional wars. Due to the devastation associated with such conflicts, this project examines the possibilities for the peaceful conflict resolution of state/non-state political violence. Specifically, this project attempts to identify the conditions under which peaceful conflict resolution can succeed as an alternative to the use of force. This project addresses three puzzles. First, at what point do states and non-state actors agree to negotiate? Second, what factors promote successful negotiation to conflicts involving a target state and non-state actors? Finally, what are the consequences of failing to achieve negotiated settlements? This project addresses each of these questions by constructing game theoretic models. The models examine the strategic interaction between non-state actors, host states, and targets of non-state violence. The models are empirically tested using several data sources, including the International Terrorism: Attributes of Terrorist Events, State Failure data, and source date from the RAND corporation.
Political science; International relations; International law