Explaining rebel behaviour during the Syrian Civil War

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This article is featured in ORIENT IV 2020

The civil war in Syria rages on and the lessons we can draw from this conflict remain as relevant as ever. This paper outlines the research conducted in Kapstein & Ribar’s 2019 article on the dynamics of inter-rebel conflict in Syria, noting how the conclusions drawn from this research still apply to the currently unfolding war. By examining the conflict through the lens of industrial organisation and by leveraging granular data on conflict events, the authors show how factors like ideology and local dependence influence the ways in which rebel groups interact and where they choose to target their violence.

David Ribar is a PhD Candidate at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Politics. His research focuses on America’s foreign policy, political psychology, and their intersection.

Ethan B. Kapstein is a professor at the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State and Associate Director of the Empirical Studies of Conflict project at Princeton University.

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