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Title: Civilian victimisation in the Tajik civil war : how the Popular Front won the war and ruined the nation
Author: Mitchell, Jennifer
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation investigates the question of why non-state armed forces target civilians, given the normative taboos against killing noncombatants and the potential for counterproductive strategic outcomes. It also analyses the effects of civilian victimisation on short-term conflict dynamics and longterm state security. Utilising the strategic approach, it constructs an original model of targeting incentives and strategic outcomes, and applies this analytical framework to the Tajik civil war and its victor, the Popular Front of Tajikistan (PFT). Its central findings from the case study are: 1) The PFT victimised civilians primarily via targeted violence, displacement and criminality; 2) PFT victimisation of civilians was a rationalist strategy given that the normative, strategic and criminal incentives for victimisation were strong and the corresponding incentives for restraint were weak; 3) Civilian victimisation led to successful conflict outcomes for the PFT; 4) Civilian victimisation led to negative long-term strategic effects for the Tajik state, but with one significant positive effect in the form of postwar popular rejection of the renewal of conflict. This analysis leads to additional findings for the study of civilian victimisation in conflict: 1) It is analytically possible and advantageous to include criminality within categories of victimisation; 2) A multivariate incentives model provides a rigorous appraisal of non-state-actor targeting behaviour in war; 3) Victimisation can produce successful strategic outcomes for non-state armed forces; 4) The long-term strategic effects of victimisation can and should be evaluated within individual case studies of civilian victimisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available