Kalyvas proposes a theory that selective violence in civil wars is the result of a rational decision making process by the actors involved to exert control during civil wars. In the section we read, the primary focus is on developing the linkage between support, control, and the role of violence (particularly selective violence).
Civil War: armed conflict between two parties within the geographical limits of what was previously one sovereign power. This widens the definition to include foreign occupation.
Civil wars are inherently brutal, violence is a result of the nature of the war
Political parties seek to establish support from the population. However, most people do not have an ideological link to either party, they simply want to survive.
To gain support, the party must exert control. With control, the instinct of survival will provide the collaboration required (intelligence on identify individuals) to win.
Military forces can provide control, but requires significantly more numbers to control the entire country than most are able to generate. Incumbents typically control urban areas and insurgents rural areas because urban areas are easier to control (not ideologically linked)
Because military cannot control entire area, they use coercion to gain control. This is best done through selective violence.
Selective violence: requires the ability to identify collaborators with enemy, which can only happen if locals have incentive to cooperate. Thus some level of control is first required.
Biases: Partisan, political, selection, overaggrigation,