Grounds for Separation: Comparing Recruitment to Separatist Rebel Groups
33 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 28, 2010
Separatist movements typically share a basis of legitimacy rooted in nationalism and common ancestral roots. However, a considerable subset of separatists bases their claims on religious difference as well. For instance, separatist conflicts such as the conflict in Mindanao in the Philippines, the Ogaden conflict in Ethiopia, the Karen’s struggle in Myanmar, and the Chechen conflict, all represent groups in conflict with the state involving religious claims-making. In this paper, we explore the differences across religious vs. solely ethno-nationalist separatists, as well as between groups of varying degrees of extremist doctrine, focusing on the mobilization to such groups. Through a game-theoretic model and empirical analysis of recent separatist conflicts, we demonstrate systematic difference in the capacity of separatist rebel groups and trace this to their recruitment potential based on doctrinal space.
Keywords: Separatism, recruitment, civil war, religion, principal-agents
JEL Classification: C72
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