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The Effects of State Leader Psychology on Civil War Lethality

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Date Issued:
2014
Abstract/Description:
Does a state leader's psychology influence lethality in civil wars? This thesis analyzes the aforementioned question during post-1945 civil wars. This particular subject, paying close attention to individual psychology at the state level, is gaining traction amongst scholars, though limited scholarly attention has addressed whether leader psychology is an indicator of conflict severity in terms of lethality. The psychology of the state leader in this thesis is assessed from leadership traits and operational code indices, specifically direction of strategy (I1) and interpretation of the nature of the political universe (P1). The data and cases used are pulled from datasets by Dr. James Fearon and the Correlates of War Project. The leaders' speech content is derived primarily from prepared material and analyzed using verbal content analysis via Profiler Plus. In measuring the effects of the predictors on my dependent variable, I chose the methodological approach of count data models, specifically, zero-truncated negative binomial regression. The results from the eight models I ran show that specific psychological traits, particularly a leader's I1 and P1 scores, level of distrust, and need for power, do play a significant role when determining the causes of civil war lethality.
Title: The Effects of State Leader Psychology on Civil War Lethality.
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Name(s): Kelley, Brandon, Author
Vasquez, Joseph, Committee Chair
Dolan, Thomas, Committee CoChair
Schafer, Mark, Committee CoChair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Does a state leader's psychology influence lethality in civil wars? This thesis analyzes the aforementioned question during post-1945 civil wars. This particular subject, paying close attention to individual psychology at the state level, is gaining traction amongst scholars, though limited scholarly attention has addressed whether leader psychology is an indicator of conflict severity in terms of lethality. The psychology of the state leader in this thesis is assessed from leadership traits and operational code indices, specifically direction of strategy (I1) and interpretation of the nature of the political universe (P1). The data and cases used are pulled from datasets by Dr. James Fearon and the Correlates of War Project. The leaders' speech content is derived primarily from prepared material and analyzed using verbal content analysis via Profiler Plus. In measuring the effects of the predictors on my dependent variable, I chose the methodological approach of count data models, specifically, zero-truncated negative binomial regression. The results from the eight models I ran show that specific psychological traits, particularly a leader's I1 and P1 scores, level of distrust, and need for power, do play a significant role when determining the causes of civil war lethality.
Identifier: CFE0005358 (IID), ucf:50469 (fedora)
Note(s): 2014-08-01
M.A.
Sciences, Political Science
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): international studies -- state -- state leader -- state leader psychology -- state leader behavior -- lethality -- violence -- civil war -- war -- insurgency -- modern warfare -- warfare -- leadership traits -- leadership trait analysis -- LTA -- operational code -- opcode
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0005358
Restrictions on Access: public 2014-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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