Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 269 pages) : illustrations, maps

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Victor Asal


Civil war, Government, Resistance to, Revolutions

Subject Categories

Political Science


The size of armed forces holds significant meaning for belligerents in civil war. Given that a large size of forces advantages an armed group in fight with the opponent, it should seek to expand the size of the forces as long as it can exercise close control over and have enough resources to manage them. Civil war involves the government and rebels, both of whom compete for the domestic popular support and recruits and often have areas where each of them can exclusively exert influence over civilians (i.e., the stronghold). In such a context, the pool of available participants for the group expands up to its limit as the area controlled by the group expands, but that the group's capacity for recruitment decreases toward the territorial boundary with the opponent-controlled area. Although a civil-war group can expect to acquire recruits in a stronghold, rivalry with the opponent in contested areas checks the group's mobilization of combatants. Given a difference in a group's influence between the stronghold and contested areas, the group will adopt varying mobilization strategies across regions. When the group seeks to mobilize combatants in the stronghold, it can use coercion as a means of mobilization. Within contested areas, in contrast, the group does not rely on the participation of all potential recruits but on that of dedicated participants because the latter are not as readily deterred from enlisting with the group as would be forced participants.