Civilian Resistance to Rebel Governance

Year: 2014 HiCN Working Paper No. 170

How can unarmed civilians defy armed insurgent or paramilitary groups that attempt to rule them? All rulers awaken opposition and rebel rulers are not the exception: civilians disagree with, disobey, and even openly confront armed combatants who rule their communities. Yet, academic research has largely ignored different forms of civilian resistance against armed groups, blinding our understanding of civilian agency, rebel behavior, and civilian-combatant relations. In an effort to contribute to filling this gap, this paper investigates when, and why, different forms of resistance to rebel rule are more likely to emerge.