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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter surveys the extremely varied and fragmented landscape of research on political violence and proposes a way to unify the study of its various manifestations in a way that is tractable, consistent, and analytically fruitful. Drawing on research that has focused on distinct types of political violence, it identifies eleven basic types. Classification is based on two key dimensions: whether the perpetrator of violence is a state or a non-state actor and whether the target of violence is a state or a non-state entity. The chapter briefly discusses key research findings associated with each type of political violence and explores how they are linked with each other by pointing to four connecting logics: hierarchy, instrumentality, escalation, and substitution. It concludes by drawing the implications.

Keywords: political violence, war, terrorism, civil war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, assassination, military coup, intercommunal violence, mass protest

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