Wartime Institutions: A Research Agenda

Year: 2014 HiCN Working Paper No. 169

Understanding the choices of civilians and combatants is crucial to our research on civil war and post-conflict reconstruction. We want to know, for example, why people join rebels and militias, why families decide to flee, why combatants kill, how they expand to new territories, or why locals support or boycott counterinsurgency operations. Even when we ask questions about macro-level outcomes such as the duration of war, the stability of peace agreements, or the effects of peace keeping operations, our capacity to theorize and interpret empirical results depends at least partially on our assumptions about how actors make decisions on the ground.