When neighborhood goes to war. Exploring the effect of belonging on violent mobilization in Ukraine

Aliyev, H. (2021) When neighborhood goes to war. Exploring the effect of belonging on violent mobilization in Ukraine. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 62(1), pp. 21-45. (doi: 10.1080/15387216.2020.1756366)

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Why do some geographical locales experience higher levels of violent mobilization during armed conflicts than others? Existing studies on high-risk mobilization examined economic greed and ethno-nationalist grievances, as well as incentives- and sanctions-based motivations to fight in civil wars. In order to explain violent mobilization beyond the extant theories of participation in civil wars, this article borrows from ethnography, psychology, and anthropology the previously unexplored in security studies concept of “belonging” to a locality. Drawing its empirical insights from unique interview data on mass wartime mobilization, which occurred between March and September 2014 in Ukraine, this study argues that belonging to a particular locale serves as a robust cause of violent mobilization. Using a rare sample of former and active members of pro-government paramilitary battalions from one carefully selected locality in Kyiv, reveals that individuals engaged in high-risk mobilization in the East Ukraine’s conflict were influenced by the sense of belonging more than by political or ethnic grievances.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Aliyev, Dr Huseyn
Authors: Aliyev, H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Eurasian Geography and Economics
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1938-2863
Published Online:02 May 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Eurasian Geography and Economics 62(1): 21-45
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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