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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTerrorism and civil war have each been studied heavily by scholars of non-state political violence; however, the two have typically been kept analytically distinct. Broadly, this project argues for treating these varying types of violence as more similar than different. While terrorism and civil war are not the same thing, they do exhibit powerful similarities both conceptually and empirically. By treating terrorism and civil war as distinct, scholars have missed out on many new insights gained from a more unified approach to non-state violence.Broadly, this project begins with the basic assumption that civil war and terrorism are not types of violence; rather, they are types of politics. Groups use terrorism and engage in civil war when those tools are available and useful, given the goals of the group. For violent groups, terrorism is versatile tool that can be used in many environments. Civil wars, while larger and rarer, are logically identical; if a group grows to be sufficiently large and powerful, and it is otherwise unable to change policy some other way, a civil war is a natural and unsurprising event.Studying violence by segmenting it into such distinct types has left scholars with disjointed explanations and no ability to bring together small-scale and large-scale events - like terrorism and civil war. The purpose of this project is to act as an initial step by suggesting a framework where varying types of non-state violence can simultaneously exist.In addition to the theoretical contributions of Part 1, the project demonstrates powerful new insights that can be realized by approaching non-state violence in a more unified manner. Part 2 provides two empirical chapters demonstrating insights from approaching terrorism and civil war together. Chapter 4 shows that terrorism data can be used as a temporally specific predictor of civil war onset. Next, Chapter 5 frames international terrorism as a transnational outcome of civil wars. Ultimately, much can be learned from treating non-state violence in a more unified manner.
Degree ProgramGraduate College