Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
- "Squeaky Wheels and Troop Loyalty: How Domestic Protests Influence Coups d'etat, 1952-2005" with Clayton Thyne, Forthcoming at The Journal of Conflict Resolution - replication data coming soon
- "Military Mutinies and Defections (MMDD) 1945-2017: A New Dataset" Revise and Resubmit at The Journal of Peace Research.
Peer Reviewed Book Excerpts
- “The Aftermath of Civil Conflicts.” with Clayton Thyne. 2017. Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory.
- Protest location and the imposition of Martial Law and Constitutional Suspensions with Gabriela Rangel
- Things Fall Apart: The Determinants of Military Mutinies
- Divisive Division: The Impact of Coup Proofing on Military Mutinies
- The Effect of Spacial Dispersion on Civil War Duration, with William O'Connell
My dissertation focuses on civil military relations in the developing world. More specifically, I am collecting new longitudinal data on military mutinies and defections. Military mutinies are shaping civil conflict in the 21st century by redefining civil military relations and emboldening non-state actors. Mutinies include cases of combatant desertion, defection, and blatant disregard for explicit orders from the state (Rose 1982; Dwyer 2012). Mutinies play a major but understudied role in determining the onset of civil wars, the strength of non-state actors (e.g. terrorist networks or rebel groups) and the likelihood of military coups that inevitably reverse democratization.
The Syrian civil war provides an excellent example of the power of mutinies to determine the onset and magnitude of civil conflict. As Arab Spring protests reached Syria in late March of 2011, tens of thousands of protesters joined the anti-authoritarian movement in several major cities in Syria. The Assad regime was clear in its intention, ordering the military to repress protest movements and kill unarmed, largely peaceful dissidents where necessary. Large portions of the military refused to comply with Assad’s orders. Sunni portions of the military mutinied at high rates, with some joining the rebels, some being executed, and others seeking political asylum (Nepstad 2013). It is still unclear the degree to which defecting combatants supported or sympathized with extremist groups of the heterogeneous Free Syrian Army, a group within which ISIS was operating. There is no doubt that the defection of Sunni combatants has contributed greatly to Syria’s bloody civil war and the weakness of institutions in a failing state. Furthermore, the lack of state fighting capacity has allowed ISIS to consolidate its grip on swaths of territory in the Middle East (e.g. Raqqa, Deir al-Zour). Other important examples of mutinies shaping political violence include the defection of Nigerian military combatants to Boko Haram, the protracted mutinies of the Central African Republic that encouraged nearly two decades of civil conflict, and many others. Unfortunately, outside of a small collection of independent case studies, there exists no empirical research to study the impact of mutinies systematically across cases, regions, and time.
My dissertation will fill this important gap in the field of International Relations. This project will explore the determinants and impacts of military mutinies. In order to test theoretical expectations, I will collect a cross-national dataset that codes all cases of mutiny from 1945-present day. This dataset will provide scholars with the tools necessary to explore this critically important topic, thus making a substantial and lasting contribution to the field.
- Clayton Thyne (Chair)
- Emily Beaulieu
- Dan Morey
- Jesse Johnson
- Matthew Wilson (Geography)