Why People Join Rebel Movements

1188 Words5 Pages
When discussing the reasons of why people make the decisions to take up arms against their government and create or join a rebellion movement, legitimate key reasons are explained and analyzed by two academics. First, Ted R. Gurr in his book Why Men Rebel sets the main emphasis on relative deprivation as to why the civil society picks up arms against the ruling regime. Second, Jeremy, M. Weinstein in Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence lists two different situations in which civilians either choose to join and actively participate in a rebel movement or actively support it. These factors are economic and social endowments that the rebel groups can provide (or at least claim to provide in the future) for the people. Although these two authors grasp a large scope of the actions and motives of participating or supporting the freedom fighters, it seems they both lack an emphasis on several different aspects of why people are fighting against each other or the government. Factors, such as fear, abduction and later corruption of minds and drugging, and obedience an authority have played a significant role in various violent conflicts around the world, more particularly as the factors of the regular fighter or civilian and not the movement’s elite. Therefore, this paper aims to first provide a more in depth description of the theories listed above by both authors and later show examples when other, more negative factors have played a significant role in conflict situations. The question whether fear and obedience to authority is as significant reason as opposed to different endowments or relative deprivation for people to not only join but also continuously support and take part in a violent conflict will be tried to be ...

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...to introduce other factors, such as fear, corruption of minds, and obedience to authority that also have played a large role in the success of growing rebel movements in different conflict areas, such as Sierra Leone and Uganda, etc., that have not been mentioned by the two authors. Conflicts as well as rebel groups differ in their construct, and although in most of them common sense of deprivation plays a role, and in their enlargement economic and social factors play a crucial role, it should also be recognized that fear and other negative aspects are used by the rebels to strengthen their movement.

Reference list:

• Weinstein J (2007). Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 27-50. ISBN 0521677971.

• Gurr, T. R. (1970). Why Men Rebel. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 21-57. ISBN 1594519137.
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