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Killing Civilians in Civil War: The Rationale of Indiscriminate Violence

Jürgen Brandsch
Killing Civilians in Civil War: The Rationale of Indiscriminate Violence
ISBN: 978-1-62637-863-6
$89.95
ISBN: 978-1-62637-906-0
$89.95
2020/239 pages/LC: 2020004711
A FirstForumPress Book
Published in association with the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews
"An important examination of the dilemmas faced by perpetrators, whether governments or insurgents, in their use of indiscriminate violence targeting civilians in their wars." —Joshua Sinai, Perspectives on Terrorism

"In this path-breaking and meticulously argued book, the author comes to the disturbing conclusion that the coercive impact of targeting civilians indiscriminately can outweigh all other considerations." –Adrian Guelke, Queen's University Belfast.

DESCRIPTION

Conventional wisdom tells us that targeting civilians in civil wars makes little sense as a combat strategy. Yet, the indiscriminate violence continues. Why?

To tackle this vexing question, Jürgen Brandsch looks closely at the on-the-ground impact of indiscriminate violence—and what he finds shows that there often is, in fact, a method to the madness. Making the provocative argument that slaughtering innocent civilians may be rational behavior on the part of the perpetrators, Brandsch provides an important piece in the puzzle of how to understand, and ultimately prevent, such atrocities.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jürgen Brandsch is the head of the Project on Small Arms and Light Weapons Control at the Bonn International Center for Conversion.

CONTENTS

  • Targeting Civilians in Civil Wars.
  • WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT INDISCRIMINATE VIOLENCE?
  • State Use of Indiscriminate Violence.
  • Nonstate Use of Indiscriminate Violence.
  • Conceptual Building Blocks.
  • A Theory of Group-Selective Violence.
  • HOW DOES INDISCRIMINATE VIOLENCE WORK IN PRACTICE?
  • Assessing the Effects of Indiscriminate Violence.
  • Group-Selective Violence Across History.
  • Violence Against Civilians in Ethnic Wars.
  • CONCLUSION.
  • Does Group-Selective Violence Work?