Doing well out of war – Study Guide
Civil wars are most likely to emerge:
1) in mountainous territories
2) in countries governed by weak but nondemocratic governments—“anocracies”
3) where there is political instability.
Two major types of insurgency from his case studies:
• Opportunistic rebellions: where participation involves fewer risks, short-term gains are more
likely, and low commitment participants resemble consumers, whose commitment to the
organization is weak and who expect to be rewarded immediately for their involvement. The
modal participant is an opportunist—greed trumps grievances.
• Activist rebellions: where participation is risky, short term gains are unlikely, and high-
commitment participants resemble investors dedicated to the cause of the organization and
willing to make costly investments of time and risk-taking in return for the promise of rewards in
the future.40 The modal participant is an investor and grievance trumps greed.
Two different relations to the resident population:
-resource predation and indiscriminate violence in the opportunistic type
-cooperative relations with the resident population and selective violence in the activist type
Five major organizational challenges faced by all insurgent organizations:
Models of civil war organization:
a Hobbesian model “stressing an ontology of civil wars characterized by the breakdown of
authority” in which violence is privatized
a Schmittian model, which “entails an ontology of civil wars based on abstract group loyalties
and beliefs,” which “stresses the fundamentally political nature of civil wars and its attendant
The repression of legitimate and deeply felt grievances leads to support for armed insurgency
when superior armed force is used indiscriminately.
We also learn that civil wars vary enormously:
•Some are strongly ideologically driven, and others seem to center on resource predation
•Some are ethnically structured, while others seem to cross ethnic lines