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Title: The prevention and management of reprisal violence in post-conflict states
Author: Boyle, M. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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The objectives of this dissertation are: (1) to propose a heuristic distinction between expressive revenge violence and its strategic variant, termed reprisal violence; (2) to test this distinction through a within-case analysis of five regions of Kosovo during the period 1999-2001; and (3) to determine how the deterrent posture of law enforcement authorities, including UN-led peacekeepers and civilian police, affected the incidence and magnitude of reprisal attacks. First, this study defines ideal types of ‘revenge’ and ‘reprisal,’ identifies the empirical implications of each and proposes a dual-level causal model - comprised of both structural variables and causal mechanisms - to explain variation in the incidence and magnitude of both types of attacks. Second, using unpublished crime statistics collected by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), it tests four alternative hypotheses to explain the regional variations in violent crime in Kosovo, particularly attacks against targeted groups such as the Serbs and Roma. Finding that a significant amount of the regional variation can be explained as reprisal violence, it evaluates the causal impact of two variables - the concentration of targeted groups and the extent of wartime damage - on reprisal attacks. Turning to the relational approach to collective violence, this study strengthens these findings by locating evidence of the causal mechanisms behind reprisal violence in the qualitative data on interethnic violent crime. Finally, this study analyzes the law enforcement posture of peacekeepers and police forces in Kosovo and catalogues the political, operational and strategic obstacles that they encountered. It finds that none of the law enforcement organizations anticipated the scale of the reprisal attacks or had the capacity to deter them. It concludes that a failure to draw the conceptual distinction between revenge and reprisal violence critically undermined the effectiveness of the UN mission and imperiled the prospects of peace in Kosovo.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available