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Title: Wartime threats and displacement decisions : civilian self-protection strategies in the Battle for Abidjan
Author: Lomax, Jacob
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 6755
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis fits into the wider topic of how war impacts civilians, focusing on the littleunderstood mediating factor of how civilians protect themselves from wartime threat. The research context is a short battle in PK18, a remote northern suburb of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Invisible Commando rebel group was fighting to oust President Gbagbo following his refusal to accept electoral defeat in late 2010. Many civilians fled in late February 2011 due to four days of intense fighting between Gbagbo loyalists and the Invisible Commandos. A survey of 715 households was conducted in late 2012, as well as key informant interviews, and semi-structured interviews with households and excombatants. This very localised mixed-methods approach to a short period of wartime violence provides the opportunity to study the interaction of armed group decisions and civilian decisions, centred around the concepts of threat and protection. On the basis of this data, four empirical chapters analyse different aspects of threat and protection. The third chapter studies armed groups actions that result in the production and reduction of threat. The fourth looks primarily at civilian protective responses to threat in PK18, and also at how the protective motivation affected the Invisible Commandos through mobilisation and demobilisation. Using quantitative data at the intra-household level, the fifth chapter describes in detail one particular protection strategy - that of displacement. The sixth chapter then investigates why households choose particular displacement strategies, analysing the importance of three causal channels from violence to displacement - direct threat, indirect threat and impact. The thesis concludes that displacement, like other civilian protection strategies, results from complex decisions in managing competing threats and scarce protection resources.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available