A new book coauthored by Asst. Prof. Efe Tokdemir of the Department of International Relations and titled “Battle for Allegiance: Governments, Terrorist Groups, and Constituencies in Conflict” was recently released by the University of Michigan Press.
In the book, Dr. Tokdemir and coauthor Seden Akçınaroğlu (a faculty member at SUNY Binghamton in the US) examine what the authors describe as a long-neglected aspect of conflict processes, specifically investigating the nonviolent strategies both governments and terrorist groups employ to win the allegiance of their constituents.
As noted in the publisher’s description of “Battle for Allegiance,” the book “shows violence is neither the only nor the most effective way in which nonstate actors and governments work to achieve their goals….In fact, the competition between the two actors goes far beyond who is superior in terms of military force and tactics. The hardest battles are fought over the allegiance of the citizens.”
Employing a three-pronged methodological approach combining large-N quantitative analysis of original data, a public opinion survey conducted in Turkey, and qualitative analysis of focus groups as well as in-depth interviews, the book presents “the first systematic empirical analysis of the ways in which terrorist groups, the government, and the citizens relate to each other in a triadic web of action.”
The study, notes the authors, “offers a complete depiction of conflict processes by introducing the nonviolent aspect of conflict as well as by highlighting the importance of constituents in the strategic battle to gain legitimacy and support.”