Paulina Pospieszna and Karl DeRouen Jr., “Civil War Mediation and Rebel Use of Violence Against Civilians.” Journal Article

Paulina Pospieszna (Adam Mickiewicz University) and Karl DeRouen, Jr. (University of Alabama)

Armed Forces & Society (Volume 43; 500-522 – Published 2017)


Violence against civilians is portrayed as an antecedent of civil war, a cause, or both. Civil war creates opportune environments for planning and carrying out these acts that in turn can have detrimental effects on peace processes. Since not all civil war factions will see peace as beneficial, some actors may use violence to undermine the peace talks. The rebels may use indiscriminate violence to demonstrate their ability to exact costs on the government thus forcing the latter to negotiate. This article focuses upon acts of violence committed by rebel groups during mediated peace
process. The central hypothesis is that violence against civilians increases the probability of mediation that in turn increases the prospects for violence. Using all civil war episodes from 1970 to 2008 as observations results from bivariate probit analysis endogenizing the choice of mediation bear out this theoretical argument.