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Essays on Military Violence and Democratic Politics

Zengin, Huseyin (2024) Essays on Military Violence and Democratic Politics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Violence and uses/abuses of militarized force are integral parts of our lives. People witness violence, resort to violence, suffer from it, and even sometimes praise it. Why does violence emerge? What kind of impact does violence have on democracy, political parties, and individuals? What is the role of the military in violence-led changes in our society?
In the first essay, I explore the effects of military coups d'état on regime type in countries, using a global sample of all successful and failed military coups. I find that both successful and failed coups can trigger democratization under the right economic and diplomatic conditions.
In the second essay, I explore how party politics and civil-military dynamics affect a country's war-on-insurgency. Though civilian control of the military is a highly-demanded aspect of civil-military relations in a country, this control can be abused by the incumbent government for electoral purposes. Using Turkey's war on the PKK, I find that the number of military operations increases as the elections approach.
In the third essay, I explore the effects of state-led (military) and rebel-led violence on voting behavior in conflict zones. Focusing on Southeastern Turkey and mainly the Kurdish population, I investigate how violence affects voting behavior and how the identity of the violent side has an impact on how people think of ethnic political parties in their districts. I find that as state-led violent events (counterinsurgency military operations) increase, the people in conflict zones tend to vote for the incumbent government party (AKP). On the other hand, if rebel violence is on the rise, then the people vote more for the pro-Kurdish ethnic political party (HDP).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zengin, Huseyinhuseyin.zengin@pitt.eduhuz360000-0003-3637-1236
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFinkel, Steven
Committee CoChairDing,
Committee MemberSavun,
Committee MemberGrauer,
Date: 10 January 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 July 2023
Approval Date: 10 January 2024
Submission Date: 1 December 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 117
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: military, democracy, voting, terrorism, coup
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 14:49
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 14:49


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