PSCI 2223 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Uppsala University

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Conflict Within States
Intrastate war:
Happens within the state, not between states (interstate war).
Usually includes a state and an armed rebel group or groups.
Battle related deaths are not included in the definition of intrastate war, any death
resulting from the war is included.
While 1,000 deaths are generally accepted as the threshold to be considered a war, some
researchers set the number at different places due to the fact that all deaths are happening
within the state (i.e. the state’s how people).
o Patrick Regan sets the threshold at 200 deaths.
o Correlates of War Project sets threshold to 1,000 deaths.
o Uppsala University sets threshold at only 25 deaths.
Revolution…
o Rapid transformations of a society’s state and class structure.
o Lead to broad political, economic, and societal changes through violent means.
o NOT ALL CIVIL WARS LEAD TO REVOLUTIONS.
o All revolutions start as intrastate wars but only a handful of wars become
revolutions.
Q. Why do civil wars happen?
o Systemic reasons…
Rising nationalism.
Imperialism and colonialism.
World wars and economic collapse.
Decolonization.
o State reasons…
Greed…
A group inside the state feels that the government is depriving
it/the people of some resource (money, water, etc.).
Grievance…
A group inside the state feels that it is not being accurately being
represented by the government based on race, ethnicity, religion,
etc.
Recap:
An interstate war is a war that takes place between two different states while an intrastate
war takes place within the state and takes place between the state and an armed rebel
group.
An intrastate war is also different from an extrastate war in the way that an intrastate war
requires that the state fights within its own borders while an extrastate war requires that
the state fight outside of its borders.
Intrastate wars occur either due to systemic reasons such as colonization, nationalism,
world economic collapse, or decolonization. State reasons include greed, when a group
feels that the state has deprived them of some resource, and grievance, when a group
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