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Up in arms! Explaining why ethnic minority organizations form militias in transitioning and post-communist Eurasian countries

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Publication details

JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
DatePublished - 25 Sep 2015
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)1-22
Original languageEnglish


The decision by ethnic minority organizations (EMOs) to form militias is heavily influenced by the specific policies that governments adopt towards them. We theorize that, when a government makes an EMO illegal or subjects it to repression, those actions substantially increase the EMO s incentives to invest in creating an institutionalized capacity for violence. We test our theory via a quantitative analysis of militia formation using a sample population of 261 EMOs within transitioning and post-communist Eurasian countries from 1989 to 2006. Our results indicate that EMOs are far more likely to form militias if they have been repressed and/or made illegal by their governments.

    Research areas

  • Eurasia, repression, post-communist, militias, exclusion, ethnic minority organizations

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