May 09, 2017

Auxiliary Force Structure: Paramilitary Forces and Pro-Government Militias

Author(s): Govinda Clayton, Tobias Böhmelt 
Journal Title: Comparative Political Studies. Forthcoming 
Publication Year: 2017 

When do countries employ what types of auxiliary security forces? Paramilitaries and pro-government militias (PGMs) are not part of a state's formal armed forces, and how this auxiliary force structure actually develops remains less well understood. We examine when PGMs emerge, when states invest in paramilitary forces, and when leaders rely on both types of security organizations at the same time. We develop the argument that it requires more time and a stronger bureaucratic apparatus to build paramilitary groups, while governments are also more account- able for their actions than in the case of PGMs. We derive four observable implications from this that relate to (1) state capacity, (2) regime instability (3) civil conflict, and (4) a simulta- neous relationship between paramilitaries and PGMs. Using competing risks and simultaneous equation models on time-series cross-section data of a global sample in 1981-2007, the results not only further our understanding of how states structure their "non-traditional", auxiliary security forces, but also have important implications for domestic state-sponsored violence and civil-military relations in general.

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