Sleeping with the enemy: winning coalitions against within-group power transitions and unstable civil war settlements Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Chang, Kiyoung
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • In many civil wars, each warring side often consists of multiple internal groups. In such a case, a leader's political survival may be threatened not only by fighting with the enemy but also by power competition among in-groups. Within-group power transitions refer to a situation in which a dominant group is overtaken by a challenger group on the same warring side. In this paper, I argue that the risk of within-group power transitions creates an incentive to negotiate peace with an enemy side. Assuming recruiting enough supporters is the sine qua non of a dominant group's status, attracting extra supporters would provide insurance against internal power transitions. Given the internal power competition, negotiated settlements help a dominant leader save more resources to recruit additional supporters by minimizing the uncertainty from fighting with an enemy. Thus, negotiated settlements are beneficial to control internal rivals. A leader's consideration for such a strategic settlement, however, inevitably entails the risk of the conflict recurring.
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  • In Copyright
  • Crescenzi, Mark J. C.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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