Fientliga förbindelser: etniskt motiverat våld mot civila i inbördeskrig
Tidsperiod: 2015-01-01 till 2017-12-31
Projektledare: Hanne Fjelde
Budget: 4 368 000 SEK
Massacres and violence against civilian populations is a prevalent feature of many civil wars. While ethnic divisions often seem salient in accounting for the patterns of civilian abuse, not all warring parties target civilians based on their ethnicity. This variation is largely unexplained by existing studies. Addressing this gap, the research project will seek to identify the conditions under which civilians are more likely to be collectively targeted in internal armed conflicts on the basis of their ethnic identity. The project proposes that the relationship between ethnic group affiliation and civilian victimization is conditional on the strategic importance of the group to the opposing warring actor, with civilian targeting being part of a strategy to weaken the military and political power of the adversary. A key theoretical contribution of this project will be to specify the conditions under which ethnic groups are seen to constitute such critical bases of support, and how this influences the likelihood of wartime atrocities along ethnic lines. To evaluate these propositions, the project will collect new, unique global data on the ethnic affiliation of civilian targets for all civil wars since 1989. Understanding the logic of violence against civilians is crucial for the ability to identify conflicts at risk of escalating into situations of mass atrocity and this project thus carries important policy implications in providing a framework for improving human security.