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Divided Armies

Inequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War

Jason Lyall

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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Politikwissenschaft


How do armies fight and what makes them victorious on the modern battlefield? In Divided Armies, Jason Lyall challenges long-standing answers to this classic question by linking the fate of armies to their levels of inequality. Introducing the concept of military inequality, Lyall demonstrates how a state's prewar choices about the citizenship status of ethnic groups within its population determine subsequent battlefield performance. Treating certain ethnic groups as second-class citizens, either by subjecting them to state-sanctioned discrimination or, worse, violence, undermines interethnic trust, fuels grievances, and leads victimized soldiers to subvert military authorities once war begins. The higher an army's inequality, Lyall finds, the greater its rates of desertion, side-switching, casualties, and use of coercion to force soldiers to fight.

In a sweeping historical investigation, Lyall draws on Project Mars, a new dataset of 250 conventional wars fought since 1800, to test this argument. Project Mars breaks with prior efforts by including overlooked non-Western wars while cataloguing new patterns of inequality and wartime conduct across hundreds of belligerents. Combining historical comparisons and statistical analysis, Lyall also marshals evidence from nine wars, ranging from the Eastern Fronts of World Wars I and II to less familiar wars in Africa and Central Asia, to illustrate inequality's effects.

Sounding the alarm on the dangers of inequality for battlefield performance, Divided Armies offers important lessons about warfare over the past two centuries—and for wars still to come.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Brigadier general (United States), Combined arms, Military service, Russians, Correlates of War, Tax, 16th Army (Soviet Union), Alimqul, Brigadier general, Encirclement, Field force, Fifth column, Taliban, Army, Trade-off, Warfare, Great power, Military technology, Calculation, Second Congo War, Armoured warfare, Infantry, Red team, Unrest, Artillery, Total war, Desertion, National security, Under arms, Military organization, Kokand, Officer (armed forces), State-building, Collective punishment, Weapon, Central Asia, Prisoner of war, Mercenary, Belligerent, Order of battle, Ethnic group, Obstacle, Rifle, Assassination, Finding, Envelopment, Wehrmacht, International relations, Cambridge University Press, Project, Battle of Moscow, World War II, Reprisal, Armistice, Setback (architecture), Nation-building, Austria-Hungary, Conscription, British Armed Forces, Division (military), Troop, Skirmisher, Politician, Turncoat, Vulnerability, Aircraft, Fortification, World War I, Blockade, Italo-Turkish War, Defection, War, Conventional warfare, Battle, Historiography, Looting, Logistics, Refusal, Cavalry, Feint, Exclusion, Morale, Ammunition, Combat, Ottoman Empire, Mass arrest, Military, Decision-making, Disadvantage, Fengtian clique, Reinforcement, Baggara, Extrajudicial punishment, Counterattack, War effort, Counter-offensive, Superiority (short story), Frontal assault, Regiment, Omdurman