Rail Lines and Demarcation Lines: A Response
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
July 8, 2015
In Ferwerda and Miller (2014), we assess whether granting governing authority to natives reduces resistance to foreign rule. We find that devolving authority significantly lowered levels of violent resistance in WW2 France, an effect we argue is driven by a process of political cooptation. Kocher and Monteiro (2015) challenge these results, arguing that the Germans deliberately placed the demarcation line in proximity to strategic railroads, and that due to external involvement by Allies, the locations of resistance events should not be used to infer political motivations. In this research note, we argue that these critiques do not undermine our core findings. Specifically, we demonstrate (1) that Kocher and Monteiro's account overstates the importance of 'strategic' railways in determining the location of the line, (2) that the presence of these railway lines cannot fully account for our findings, and (3) that resistance was locally-rooted, began before D-Day, and was not directed by the Allies in the regions from which we derive our inferences.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: occupation, resistance, World War II
JEL Classification: C99, N44
Date posted: July 10, 2015 ; Last revised: July 11, 2015