Publication:
Networks of Cooperation: Rebel Alliances in Fragmented Civil Wars

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Authors
Gade, Emily Kalah
Gabbay, Michael
Hafez, Mohammed M.
Kelly, Zane
Subjects
Syria
civil war
fragmentation
alliance
social network analysis
ideology
Advisors
Date of Issue
2019-02
Date
Publisher
Sage
Language
Abstract
When rebels make alliances, what informs their choice of allies? Civil wars are rarely simple contests between rebels and incumbent regimes. Rather, rival militant networks provide the context in which these fragmented conflicts unfold. Alliances that emerge within this competitive landscape have the power to alter conflict trajectories and shape their outcomes. Yet patterns of interrebel cooperation are understudied. The existing scholarship on rebel alliances focuses on why rebels cooperate, but little attention is given to the composition of those alliances: with whom rebels cooperate. We explore how power, ideology, and state sponsorship can shape alliance choices in multiparty civil wars. Employing network analysis and an original data set of tactical cooperation among Syrian rebels, we find compelling evidence that ideological homophily is a primary driver of rebel collaboration. Our findings contribute to an emerging literature that reasserts the role of ideology in conflict processes.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022002719826234
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Funder
Office of Naval Research HDTRA1-10-1-0075
Office of Naval Research N00014-15- 1-2549
Office of Naval Research N00014-16-1-2919
Format
27 p.
Citation
Gade, Emily Kalah, et al. “Networks of Cooperation: Rebel Alliances in Fragmented Civil Wars.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Feb. 2019
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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