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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses recent research on civil war that is particularly relevant for scholars of social movements: patterns of violence against civilians during civil war, political mobilization during civil war, and the social legacies of war. Among the themes discussed are the recent turn to group institutions and ideologies to explain differences in violence across armed groups; the escalation from unarmed protest to armed insurgency; mobilization of both recruits and civilians by insurgents, the state and its allies; the consequences of both indiscriminate state violence and hearts-and-minds approaches to counterinsurgency; and the positive as well as negative legacies of civil war. The chapter concludes by suggesting several topics likely to benefit from increased exchange between scholars of civil wars and social movements as related forms of contentious politics.

Keywords: civil war, political violence, escalation in violence, legacies of war, political mobilization

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