Call of Duty? How Insurgent Organizations Choose to Provide Social Services



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The purpose of this dissertation is to discover what drives Islamic insurgent organizations in Africa and the Middle East to provide social services to local populations. The research found that a group’s strategic objectives and the levels of competition it faces from governments and other insurgent groups are the primary factors that impact decisions by Islamic insurgent organizations about whether or not to provide -social services. In addition, the research revealed that the provision of social services is not equal across insurgent groups. Rather, three models of social service provision emerge. The first, the Super-Provider Model, refers to a model of provision that includes a variety of services, sustained over time, and typically offered in an inclusive manner and supported by a bureaucratic organization. This model occurs when two conditions are met – when the insurgent group wishes to govern and when the organization also faces high levels of competition in its area of operations. The second model, the Proxy Model, occurs when insurgent groups ally themselves with a provider but do not actually engage in provision, and this model occurs when only one of the above conditions are met. The third model, the Non-Provider Model, occurs most frequently when insurgent groups neither wish to govern, nor face high levels of competition.