Wartime threats and displacement decisions: civilian self-protection strategies in the Battle for Abidjan

Lomax, Jacob (2014) Wartime threats and displacement decisions: civilian self-protection strategies in the Battle for Abidjan. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis fits into the wider topic of how war impacts civilians, focusing on the littleunderstood
mediating factor of how civilians protect themselves from wartime threat.
The research context is a short battle in PK18, a remote northern suburb of Abidjan, Côte
d’Ivoire. The Invisible Commando rebel group was fighting to oust President Gbagbo
following his refusal to accept electoral defeat in late 2010. Many civilians fled in late
February 2011 due to four days of intense fighting between Gbagbo loyalists and the
Invisible Commandos. A survey of 715 households was conducted in late 2012, as well
as key informant interviews, and semi-structured interviews with households and excombatants.
This very localised mixed-methods approach to a short period of wartime
violence provides the opportunity to study the interaction of armed group decisions and
civilian decisions, centred around the concepts of threat and protection.
On the basis of this data, four empirical chapters analyse different aspects of threat and
protection. The third chapter studies armed groups actions that result in the production
and reduction of threat. The fourth looks primarily at civilian protective responses to
threat in PK18, and also at how the protective motivation affected the Invisible
Commandos through mobilisation and demobilisation. Using quantitative data at the
intra-household level, the fifth chapter describes in detail one particular protection
strategy - that of displacement. The sixth chapter then investigates why households
choose particular displacement strategies, analysing the importance of three causal
channels from violence to displacement - direct threat, indirect threat and impact. The
thesis concludes that displacement, like other civilian protection strategies, results from
complex decisions in managing competing threats and scarce protection resources.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Stacey Armes
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 10:53
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 10:53
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59623
DOI:

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