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From Civil Resistance to Civil War: Nonstrategic Mechanisms of Militarization in the Syrian Uprising

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

A recurrent logic in most research on nonviolent relative to violent resistance is that groups choose violent or nonviolent means depending on the likelihood of success of each approach. On the contrary, this article analyzes the militarization of the Syrian revolution and argues that it was not a strategic decision by the Syrian opposition, but rather emotional, material and practice mechanisms that initially paved the way for counter violence. Revolutionaries were motivated to take up arms by emotional mechanisms of revenge and fear. Moreover, material mechanisms, in particular the relatively high availability of weapons in Syria can explain the more militant counter response to the ongoing repression. Finally, violent or nonviolent actions were shaped by practice mechanisms, where revolutionaries already experienced in violence (from the beginning of the uprising) argued in favor of and sometimes conducted violent resistance, whereas other groups engaged in nonviolent resistance.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer4
TidsskriftPeace and Change: A Journal of Peace Research
Vol/bind45
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)256-286
DOI
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2020

ID: 218723037