Born Weak, Growing Strong: Anti-Government Protests as a Signal of Rebel Strength in the Context of Civil Wars

Journal Article (Journal Article)

All rebel organizations start weak, but how do they grow and achieve favorable conflict outcomes? We present a theoretical model that allows for rebel organizations to gain support beyond their “core” and build their bargaining power during fighting. We highlight that rebel organizations need to win over crucial parts of society to generate the necessary support that allows them to attain favorable civil conflict outcomes. We find empirical support for the argument that low-income individuals who initially fight the government (rebel organizations) have to convince middle-class individuals to turn out against the government to gain government concessions. Empirically, we demonstrate that government concessions in the form of peace agreements and the onset of negotiations become more likely when protest occurs in the context of civil conflicts.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Levento─člu, B; Metternich, NW

Published Date

  • July 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 62 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 581 - 596

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-5907

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0092-5853

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/ajps.12356

Citation Source

  • Scopus