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VOL. XVIII, Issue 1

Violence After Victory? Civil Wars, One-Sided Wins, and Terrorism in the Post-Conflict Period

Our research juxtaposes terrorism with intrastate wars. We start from the assumption that terrorism is politically motivated and examine the persistence of these motivations following one-sided civil war victories. Using a difference-in-difference (DID) model and benchmark sensitivity analysis, we analyse over 70 terrorist groups active during civil wars from 1970-2014. We find that one-sided insurgent victories are both less frequent and less stable than one-sided incumbent wins. Post-conflict terrorism is purposeful in the sense that actors employ this form of violence to express dissatisfaction with war outcomes. In general, terrorism by pro-government actors drops off sharply in the post-conflict period; yet terrorism by anti-government actors tends to increase. This increase is particularly noteworthy following one-sided insurgent victories; the regime change inherent in such victories does little to quell the motivation for terrorist violence among ancillary nonstate actors in the post-war period.

About ICCT

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…