What explains violence against civilians in civil wars? Why do groups kill civilians in areas where they have full military control and their rivals have no military presence? This innovative book connects pre-war politics to patterns of violence during civil war. It argues that both local political rivalry and local revenge account for violence against civilians. Armed groups perpetrate direct violence jointly with local civilians, who collaborate when violence can help them gain or consolidate local political control. As civil war continues, revenge motives also come into play, leading to spirals of violence at a local level. In an important contribution to the study of the Spanish Civil War, Balcells combines statistical analyses with ethnographic and qualitative research to provide new insights to scholars and academic researchers with an interest in civil war, politics and conflict processes. Rivalry and Revenge is theoretically and empirically rich, and it offers a theory and method generalizable to a wide set of cases.
Laia Balcells is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University, North Carolina. Her research explores the determinants of political violence and civil wars, warfare dynamics during conflict, and nationalism and ethnic conflict. She has recently published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Peace Research, and is recipient of the Harry Frank Guggenheim research grant and the Luebbert Award for Best Article in Comparative Politics from the American Political Science Association.
Acknowledgements; Notes on conventions; Part I: 1. Violence against civilians during civil wars; 2. A theory of violence against civilians; Part II: 3. History of the Spanish civil war (1936-9); 4. Executions and massacres during the Spanish civil war (1936-9); 5. Bombardments during the Spanish civil war (1936-9); Part III: 6. The conflict in Cote d'Ivoire (2002-11); 7. Additional evidence and macro-level implications; 8. Conclusion; Glossary; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.