Associate Professor of Government Erica De Bruin published a book chapter on "State-Militia Relations and Repression," in the book Militias, States, and Violence Against Civilians: Civil Vice, Civil Virtue, edited by Paul Lorenzo Johnson and William Wittels (New York: Routledge Press, 2023) in April.
The book chapter explores the diverse relationships that governments and politicians have with militia groups. While some "informal" militias are only tacitly acknowledged or tolerated by the state, others are formally incorporated into the state's security sector (making them "official" militias).
De Bruin's chapter presents new data documenting the wide variation that exists in state-militia relations, and shows how that variation affects state repression. In particular, she shows that while informal militias are associated with higher rates of torture, killings, and disappearances, official militias are associated with political imprisonment. This work joins other recent scholarship in demonstrating that different types of human rights violations have different causes.