We would like to thank Joe Clare and Rod Abouharb for commenting on an earlier version of this manuscript. In addition, the three reviewers offered insightful critiques that certainly made the article better. We, however, take full credit for all of the errors and omissions.
A Tale of Two Types: Rebel Goals and the Onset of Civil Wars1
Article first published online: 9 MAR 2010
© 2010 International Studies Association
International Studies Quarterly
Volume 54, Issue 1, pages 213–240, March 2010
How to Cite
Sobek, D. and Payne, C. L. (2010), A Tale of Two Types: Rebel Goals and the Onset of Civil Wars. International Studies Quarterly, 54: 213–240. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2009.00584.x
- Issue published online: 9 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 9 MAR 2010
Previous research has implicitly assumed that civil wars represent a coherent category of events, but given the variety of rebel goals that supposition seems tenuous. We split civil wars into those where the rebels simply want to remove the government (replacement) from those where the rebels want to alter the relationship between the state and society (legitimacy). Theoretically, states are most at risk for a civil war of replacement when they extract substantial wealth from society and the government is weak. In contrast, civil wars of legitimacy are more likely to occur in states where the rebels have both grievances and a means to maintain their future viability. An empirical analysis of civil wars of replacement and legitimacy from 1960 to 1999 confirms both our argument about the different types of civil violence and their differing causes.