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Child Soldiers In Intrastate Conflicts: An Empirical Analysis

Achvarina, Vera (2010) Child Soldiers In Intrastate Conflicts: An Empirical Analysis. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In my dissertation I seek to answer the question of why some non-state armed groups in modern conflicts recruit children whereas others do not. I argue that four factors help explain the difference in rebels' recruitment of minors. The first two are related to the armed group-specific characteristics of fighting capacity relative to the government and the scope of belligerents' territorial access and control within and across the conflict country borders. Both of these factors positively affect the insurgency's propensity to recruit children, especially for armed groups that are unpopular among their constituency. The third and fourth contextual and individual factors of poverty and presence of ethnic persecution in a country, I argue, also have a positive influence on the outcome of child recruitment, especially for popular insurgencies. My findings are based on both quantitative and qualitative research. I conducted large-N tests on a dataset of 112 insurgencies that I newly compiled. I also analyzed data which I collected on Liberian armed groups and former underage combatants from the surveys which I administered in the field. I complemented my statistical analysis with comparative and process-tracing temporal case studies, as well as the plausibility probe on FARC armed group from Colombia and the LTTE faction of Sri Lanka.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairReich, Simon
Committee CoChairKeller, Williambkeller@pitt.eduBKELLER
Committee MemberAmes, Barrybarrya@pitt.eduBARRYA
Committee MemberBan, Carolyncban@pitt.eduCBAN
Committee MemberCarpenter,
Date: 29 June 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 12 February 2010
Approval Date: 29 June 2010
Submission Date: 7 June 2010
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: African insurgencies; child recruitment; civil wars; forced and voluntary conscription; mobilization of people for armed conflict
Other ID:, etd-06072010-180024
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:46
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44


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