Human Rights Conditions on Foreign Aid can Backfire

M Spagat, M Mandler

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

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A domestic power faces an enemy and commits terrorist atrocities to increase its likelihood of victory. A foreign patron can grant aid tothe power but prefers fewer or no atrocities. To avoid the need to compromise with the foreign patron, the domestic power may create (or stop supressing) independent paramilitaries that commit even more atrocities. Once "atrocity overshooting" is reached, the domestic power shifts gears and tries to restrict the atrocity level that paramilitaries are committing. Case studies of Colombia and Northern Ireland illustrate the model.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005

Publication series



  • Terrorism
  • Atrocities
  • Paramilitaries
  • Colombia
  • Northern Ireland

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