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CCW Working Group with Sara Usher and Catharina Lewerenz

  • Allen & Overy Room, Pembroke College Oxford OX1 1DW (map)

The CCW Working Group on Armed Conflict will meet from 9am to 11am on Friday 27 May in the Allen & Overy Room, Pembroke College. Please see below for details of the papers that will be discussed.

If you are interested in attending and are not already on the Working Group's mailing list, please contact for more information.

Sara Usher: "Is it Recurrence or Persistence?: The Fallacy of Intrastate Conflict Coding Practices"

Sara's topic is on the consequences of different coding practices to academia, policy and practice in regards to intrastate conflict.  Preliminary findings from the UCDP Conflict Data Programme will be presented. 

Catharina Lewerenz:"Pro-Government Militias as a strategy to Violent and Non-Violent Campaigns?"

Do incumbents recur to pro-government militias when dealing with violent oppositions? And, do pro-government militias play a role when the opposition uses non-violent strategies? From 1981 to 2007, 736 violent and 239 non-violent campaign months took place in 64 countries aiming for regime change, anti-occupation, or secession. These mass mobilisations pose a threat to incumbent regimes pressuring them to take action for their own survival. Interestingly, while pro-government militias are active in two-third of the violent campaigns, they were also actively engaged in political violence during half of the non-violent campaigns. This is the first paper seeking to explain this pattern by examining the causal relationship between violent/non-violent campaigns and the activity of pro-government militias. I argue that governments are more likely to treat militias as strategic means to use repression in response to mass mobilisation when a) the campaign takes place outside the centre, b) if the campaign is able to create parallel administrative, social, political and economic structures, and c) if the state faces otherwise domestic and international repercussions. I test this argument using the Pro-government militia database (1981-2007) and the Navco 2.0 dataset.