UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies 
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish StudiesUCD Crest


Anti Civilian Violence and the ‘political opportunity structure’: the cases of Northern Ireland, Israel-Palestine and Sri LankaSupervised by: Dr Vincent Durac, UCD School of Politics and International Relations

Overview of project: This project proposes to explain the targeting and indiscriminate killing of civilians (ACV) by militant groups at certain times in situations of contentious politics and in ethno nationalist conflicts. The theoretical framework is Tarrow’s ‘political opportunity structure’ which is a political process approach, looking at opportunities and constraints within the political system, and how militants use collective framing, mobilization and repertoires of contention to justify their actions.

Aims: The construction of an analysis and response, both in terms of the theoretical framework and in policy making, to the issues of political violence, specifically to extreme political violence that deliberately targets civilians. The research also aims to identify opportunities and constraints within political systems which constrain the resort to political violence.

Methodology: Qualitative (small N case studies, process tracing, discourse analysis, interviews and database
of ACV).