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Friends in High Places: State Support for Violent and Non-violent Ethnopolitical Organizations


States seek to influence or alter political outcomes in other states by supporting non-governmental groups located within their rivals or enemies. While a dyadic-relation model explains much of state support for non-governmental ethnopolitical organizations, its static view fails to capture the changing nature of their relationships. By bringing violent and non-violent organizations into the same analysis, and examining data across different international systemic periods, we add new empirical evidence to previous studies, arguing that the external support for resistance is influenced by a specific context in the post-Cold War period as well as the behaviour and characteristics of the organizations vying for support. Analysing the Middle East Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (ME-MAROB) dataset, we find that violent organizations are more likely to obtain external support than those organizations adhering to the principles of non-violence in both the Cold War and the post-Cold War periods. However, organizational popularity, capability, and kinship with the state sponsor encourage state support only after the end of the Cold War. This suggests that the shift in the international system caused by the collapse in bipolarity encouraged state actors to reconsider their behaviour in supporting ethnopolitical organizations inside other states.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Asal, Victor, R. William Ayres, and Yuichi Kubota. 2019. "Friends in High Places: State Support for Violent and Non-violent Ethnopolitical Organizations." Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (June). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17467586.2019.1622027

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