The Responsiveness of Rebel Governance

Project overview

Project Leader

Main supervisor

Assistant supervisor

Project period

  • 2016–2021


Why is rebel governance more responsive to the preferences of the civilian population in some areas that in others? This dissertation project explores the degree to which rebels are responsive to civilian preferences in civil war, focusing on their efforts to consult civilians and invest in civilian protection and welfare. The overarching theoretical framework focuses on the conditions under which civilians, and more specifically, local elites, successfully demand a greater say in rebel governance and greater investments in security and services. The main case of the dissertation is Côte d’Ivoire between 2002 and 2010. The project employs both qualitative (process tracing and structured focused comparison) and quantitative methods, including original data collected through fieldwork.

Related publications and working papers

  • Guns and Governance: Local Elites, Civil Resistance, and Responsive Rebel Governance in Côte d’Ivoire. Last presented at the Conflict Research Society (CRS) Annual Conference, September 9-10th, 2019, Brighton, UK.
  • Guns and Governance: Local Polarisation and Civilian Exposure to Violence in Rebel-Held Côte d’Ivoire. Last presented at the International Studies Association’s (ISA) 60th Annual Convention, March 27-30th, 2019, Toronto, Canada. 
  • Sebastian van Baalen & Kristine Höglund, 2017. “‘So the Killings Continued’: Wartime Mobilisation and Post-War Violence in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence, online first.

Main financial support

Field research is funded by research grants from Swedish funding agencies and scholarships.