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Going underground: Resort to terrorism in mass mobilization dissident campaigns

Belgioioso, Margherita (2018) Going underground: Resort to terrorism in mass mobilization dissident campaigns. Journal of Peace Research, 55 (5). pp. 641-655. ISSN 0022-3433. E-ISSN 1460-3578. (doi:10.1177/0022343318764795) (KAR id:76626)


When and why do groups participating in mass dissent choose to initiate terrorist campaigns? I argue that groups involved in civil wars and mass civil resistance might face similar organizational pressures, which encourage the initiation of terrorism due to higher tactical effectiveness. Internal organizational pressure might depend on leaders’ expectations of a decline in followers’ commitment with protracted use of mass tactics. This is likely to motivate leaders to initiate terrorist campaigns to secure organizational survival. External organizational pressures might depend on increasing dissident campaigns’ fragmentation. This intensifies competition making leaders more likely to initiate terrorism so as to establish themselves at the forefront of their movements. The findings provide empirical support consistent with my claims and indicate no significant difference between civil wars and mass civil resistance movements with regards to these effects. Contrary to the common idea that the use of conventional violence should entail a higher willingness to engage in illegal violence against non-combatants, this finding suggests that conflict dynamics affect the decision to initiate terrorism and that terrorist campaigns have a coherent strategic logic across different types of mass dissent.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0022343318764795
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - J. Peace Res. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Politics and History, Brunel University London, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints] M3 - Article [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: civil resistance, civil war, mass dissident campaigns, terrorism onset
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Margherita Belgioioso
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2019 08:50 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:45 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Belgioioso, Margherita.

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