Joining the Counterinsurgency: Explaining Pro-Government Militia Participation in the Philippines
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
What motivates civilians to fight in a progovernment militia? This article draws on survey and interview data from active members of Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU), a progovernment militia in the Philippines, to evaluate why individuals enlist. We find poverty and unemployment to be key drivers of group membership, and the biggest attraction a steady paycheck. This situation presents a moral hazard for the Philippine government and other states that rely on impoverished citizens to wage counterinsurgency: while doing so can be cost-effective, the need to keep costs low might also impede efforts at socioeconomic or political reform.
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Eastin, J., & Zech, S. T. (2019). Joining the Counterinsurgency: Explaining Pro-Government Militia Participation in the Philippines. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-25.