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TEDxUCL - Kristin Bakke - When the Enemy of My Enemy Is Not My Friend

Dr. Kristin M. Bakke is a lecturer in political science at the School of Public Policy at UCL. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, Seattle. Prior to joining UCL, she was post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University and an assistant professor at Leiden University. Dr. Bakke' publications focus on intrastate conflicts. She researches why some states are better able to avoid conflicts within their borders than others, how institutions can (or cannot) promote intrastate peace, the dynamics within self-determination movements, and the aftermaths of violent conflicts. Talk: When the Enemy of My Enemy Is Not My Friend: Why Rebels Sometimes Target Their Own The cohesiveness of groups is seldom something we can take for granted in politics, especially in (or after) violent conflicts. In Libya, the ongoing struggles among the various factions that last year formed the opposition to Gaddafi's rule is a telling example of how tenuous the unity of armed groups can be. In Syria, the various factions that make up the opposition to President Assad have tried to form a united front to stand stronger against the regime. These current examples are not unique. In this presentation, I will argue that if we are to understand the patterns of violence in civil wars, we have to focus on how any one organization finds itself in a dual contest: first against the state it challenges, and second, with the other organizations in the group it represents. Only by focusing on this dual contest can we understand why organizations fighting in the name of the same group often target the group's own members, including civilians. They do so, my co-authors and I argue, because organizations direct their violence against the potential support base of their rivals. This dual contest has implications not only for how scholars think about and study civil wars, but also for policy-makers engaged in peace initiatives. About TEDx In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Length: 09:17

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