Theodore McLauchlin, Loyalty Strategies and Military Defection in Rebellion
Two common strategies for maintaining military loyalty-individual incentives and ethnic preference-produce very different outcomes for defection of government troops when a rebellion arises outside the military. Since a strategy of individual incentives rests on a continuous judgment of regime strength, a rebellion can provoke a self-fulfilling prophecy that the regime will collapse. An ethnic preference policy identifies soldiers as loyal or disloyal based on group identity and gives those soldiers strong incentives to act accordingly. A rebellion by the out-group might generate out-group defection, but not in-group defection. Focusing on information about preferences, these outcomes are illustrated through a comparison of rebellions in Syria, Jordan, and Iran.
Web master: Jennifer Corby