Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI)




Drei neue Veröffentlichungen von Marius Mehrl


Marius Mehrl hat kürzlich drei neue Paper in Foreign Policy Analysis, International Interactions und Civil Wars veröffentlicht.

Mehrl, Marius/Choulis, Ioannis. 2021. The Colonial Roots of Structural Coup-Proofing. International Interactions: Online first.

Abstract: Colonially inherited institutions are a key determinant of the regime type and economic outcomes of postcolonial countries. This study extends this claim to civil-military relations, arguing that former French colonies are especially likely to invest in structural coup-proofing. France created paramilitary units throughout its colonies for which many natives were recruited. After independence, these paramilitaries proved persistent and were consequently used to counterbalance the regular armed forces. In contrast, countries without existing paramilitary organizations had stronger militaries which deterred and even forcibly prevented structural coup-proofing. Quantitative tests using global data on coup-proofing and a paired comparison of civil-military relations in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana support the claim that former French colonies are more likely to heavily invest in counterbalancing. By showing how French colonial institutions provided post-independence governments with the opportunity to coup-proof, the study contributes to our understanding of civil-military relations as well as the institutional long-term effects of colonialism and foreign rule more generally.

Mehrl, Marius/Choulis, Ioannis. 2021. Diversionary Politics and Territorial Disputes: Evidence from Turkish Airspace Incursions. Foreign Policy Analysis 17(3): orab007.

Abstract: Diversionary theories of interstate conflict suggest that domestic problems push leaders to initiate hostilities against foreign foes in order to garner support. However, the empirical support for this proposition is mixed as critics point out that leaders should not start conflicts that can be extremely costly for them, potentially even removing them from office. We propose that while leaders may not initiate new conflicts, they do tap into existing territorial disputes when facing internal disapproval. That is, they engage in material acts of foreign policy showing domestic audiences that they defend or emphasize their country's claim while being unlikely to result in full-scale armed confrontations. To test this claim, we use monthly data, covering the period 2013–2020, on leader approval and incursions into contested airspace from Turkey's long-standing territorial dispute with Greece. Results from time-series models offer support for our expectation.

Mehrl, Marius. 2021. The Effect of Child Soldiers on Rebel Violence against Civilians. Civil Wars: Online first.

Abstract: Existing work describes child soldiers as very violent towards civilians. Challenging this, I posit that children’s effect on group behaviour is conditioned by rebels’ civilian support. Because they have weak pre-existing norms, children are both prone to normalize violence and susceptible to rebel efforts to control their use of violence. They should thus closely follow group rules in their behaviour towards civilians, implying a moderating effect of these rules. I expect that child soldiering increases civilian victimization only for groups who lack incentives to show restraint towards civilians because they receive no support from them. Empirical tests support this expectation.