Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 17, 2013

When the Weak Roar: Understanding Protracted Intrastate Conflict

Manus I. Midlarsky and Elizabeth R. Midlarsky

Abstract

Much research on protracted intrastate conflict has either centered on internal conditions characterizing an important protagonist (e.g., motivated by grievance and/or greed), or on dyadic interactions between them that frequently employ game theory. Cross-sectional methodologies often are used in empirical testing. Here, we propose to use the dyad as the principal unit of analysis, but examine each of the actor’s diachronically as they interact with each other. Specifically, the ephemeral gain, a theory integral to Origins of Political Extremism (Cambridge 2011), has been employed in this analysis. We hypothesize that whether as rebel or government, when an actor engaged in intrastate conflict experiences an ephemeral gain, it is more likely to prolong the conflict. If both actors have experienced this phenomenon, then the conflict is even more likely to continue. Important here is the risk acceptance by rebels resulting from the anger attendant upon an ephemeral gain. Research in social psychology strongly supports this variable sequence. The case of the Kurds in the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey, Iraq, and Iran is offered as an illustration. Ephemeral gains experienced both by the Kurds and by the Republic of Turkey acted to prolong this conflict to the present day.


Corresponding author: Manus I. Midlarsky, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA, E-mail:

References

Acemoglu, D., Robinson, J.A., (2012), Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, Crown Publishers, New York. Search in Google Scholar

Aristotle, (1991), The Art of Rhetoric, Freese, J.H., (trans.), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Search in Google Scholar

Bester, H., Konrad, K.A., (2003), Delay in Contests, European Economic Review, vol. 48, pp. 1169–1178. Search in Google Scholar

CIA World Factbook, 2011, Syria. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sy.html Search in Google Scholar

Collier, P., Hoeffler, A., (2004), Greed and Grievance in Civil War, Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 563–573. Search in Google Scholar

Elster, J., (2004), Emotion and Action, in Solomon, R.C., (ed.), Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 151–162. Search in Google Scholar

Garfinkel, M.R., Skaperdas, S., (2000), Conflict Without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: How the Future Matters, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 793–807. Search in Google Scholar

Haidt, J., (2003), The Moral Emotions, in Davidson, R.J., Scherer, K.R., Goldsmith, H.H, (eds.), Handbook of Affective Sciences, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 852–870. Search in Google Scholar

Hensel, P.R., (2012), Territory: Geography, Contentious Issues, and World Politics, in Vasquez, J.A., (ed.), What Do We Know about War? 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, pp. 3–26. Search in Google Scholar

Jwaideh, W., (2006), The Kurdish National Movement: Its Origins and Development, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY. Search in Google Scholar

Kahneman, D., Tversky, A., (1979), Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk, Econometrica, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 263–292. Search in Google Scholar

Kahneman, D., Tversky, A., (eds.) (2000), Choices, Values, and Frames, University Press Cambridge, Cambridge. Search in Google Scholar

Lazarus, R.S., (1991), Emotion and Adaptation, Oxford University Press, New York. Search in Google Scholar

Lerner, J.S., Keltner, D., (2000), Beyond Valence: Toward a Model of Emotion-Specific Influences on Judgement and Choice, Cognition and Emotion, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 473–493. Search in Google Scholar

Lerner, J.S., Keltner, D., (2001), Fear, Anger, and Risk, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 81, no. 1, pp. 146–159. Search in Google Scholar

Lerner, J.S., Tiedens, L.Z., (2006), Portrait of the Angry Decision Maker: How Appraisal Tendencies Shape Anger’s Influence on Cognition, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, vol. 19, pp. 115–137. Search in Google Scholar

Lerner, J.S., Gonzalez, R.M., Small, D.A., Fischoff, B., (2003), Effects of Fear and Anger on Perceived Risks of Terrorism: A National Field Experiment, Psychological Science vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 144–150. Search in Google Scholar

Litvak, P.M., Lerner, J.S., Tiedens, L.Z., Shonk, K., (2010), Fuel in the Fire: How Anger Impacts Judgment and Decision-Making, in Potegal, M., Stemmler, G., Spielberger, C., (eds.), International Handbook of Anger: Constituent and Concomitant Biological, Psychological, and Social Processes, Springer, New York, pp. 287–309. Search in Google Scholar

Loewenstein, G., (1996), Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 272–292. Search in Google Scholar

Loewenstein, G., Lerner, J.S., (2003), The Role of Affect in Decision Making, in Davidson, R.J., Scherer, K.R., Goldsmith, H.H., (eds.), Handbook of Affective Sciences, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 619–642. Search in Google Scholar

McDowall, D., (2004), A Modern History of the Kurds, 3rd ed. I. B. Tauris, London. Search in Google Scholar

Midlarsky, M.I., (2005), The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Search in Google Scholar

Midlarsky, M.I., (2009), Territoriality and the Onset of Mass Violence: The Political Extremism of Joseph Stalin, Journal of Genocide Research (special issue on Soviet mass violence), vol. 11, no. 2–3, pp. 265–283. Search in Google Scholar

Midlarsky, M.I., (2010), Precursors of Terror: Origins of European Extremism, in Reuveny, R., Thompson, W.R., (eds.), Coping with Terrorism: Origins, Escalation, Counterstrategies, and Responses, State University of New York Press, Albany, pp. 25–52. Search in Google Scholar

Midlarsky, M.I., (2011a), Extremism and Military Intervention in South Asia: Indian Muslims and Sri Lankan Tamils, in James, P., (ed.), Religion, Identity, and Global Governance: Ideas, Evidence, and Practice, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, pp. 128–158. Search in Google Scholar

Midlarsky, M.I., (2011b), Origins of Political Extremism: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century and Beyond, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Search in Google Scholar

Ortnoy, A., Clore, G.L., Collins, A., (1988), The Cognitive Structure of Emotions, Cambridge University Press, New York. Search in Google Scholar

Parkinson, S.E., (2013), Organizing Rebellion: Rethinking High-Risk Mobilization and Social Networks in War, American Political Science Review, vol. 107, no. 3, pp. 418–432. Search in Google Scholar

Roseman, I.J., (1984), Cognitive Determinants of Emotion: A Structural Theory, Review of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 5, pp. 11–36. Search in Google Scholar

Rozin, P., Lowery, L., Imada, S., Haidt, J. (1999), The CAD Triad Hypothesis: A Mapping between Three Moral Emotions (Contempt, Anger, Disgust) and Three Moral Codes (Community, Autonomy, Divinity), Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 574–586. Search in Google Scholar

Scherer, K.R., (1999), Appraisal Theory, in Dalgliesh, T., Power, M.J., (eds.), Handbook of Cognition and Emotion, Wiley, Chichester, UK, pp. 637–663. Search in Google Scholar

Scherer, K.R., (2001), Appraisal Considered as a Process of Multi-Level Sequential Checking, in Scherer, K.R., Schorr, A., Johnstone, T., (eds.), Appraisal Processes in Emotion: Theory, Methods, Research, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 92–120. Search in Google Scholar

Toft, M.D., (2003), The Geography of Ethnic Violence: Identity, Interests, and the Indivisibility of Territory, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Search in Google Scholar

Toft, M.D., (2009), Securing the Peace: The Durable Settlement of Civil Wars, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Search in Google Scholar

Vasquez, J.A., (2009), The War Puzzle Revisited, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Search in Google Scholar

Von Clausewitz, C., (1984), On War, Howard, M., Paret. P., (eds. and trans.), Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ [1832], p. 138. Search in Google Scholar

Walter, B.F., (2003), Explaining the Intractability of Territorial Conflict, International Studies Review, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 137–153. Search in Google Scholar

Walter, B.F., (2006), Conclusion, in Kahler, M., Walter, B.F., (eds.), Territoriality and Conflict in an Era of Globalization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 288–296. Search in Google Scholar

Wang, X.T., (2006), Emotions Within Reason: Resolving Conflicts in Risk Preference, Cognitive Emotions, vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 1132–1152. Search in Google Scholar

Weiner, B., (1980), A Cognitive (Attribution)-Emotion-Action Model of Motivated Behavior: An Analysis of Judgments of Help-Giving, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 186–200. Search in Google Scholar

Weiner, B., (1986), Attribution, Emotion, and Action, in Sorrentino, R.M., Higgins, E.T., (eds.), Handbook of Motivation and Cognition: Foundations of Social Behavior, Guilford Press, New York, pp. 281–312. Search in Google Scholar

Yassin, B., (1997), A History of the Republic of Kurdistan, The International Journal of Kurdish Studies, vol. 11, no. 1–2, pp. 115–240. Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2013-12-17
Published in Print: 2013-12-01

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston