Commitment Problems or Bidding Wars? Rebel Fragmentation as Peace Building

After highly fragmented civil wars, order is often secured through the selective co-optation of rebel field commanders and atomized insurgents. This paper presents a formal model of civil war settlement as a coalition formation game between various regime and rebel factions. This approach emphasizes the ability of installed civilian rulers to lure warlords into the state based on promises of future wealth, then use divide-and-rule tactics to pit different warlord factions against one another. Quantitative and qualitative data from Tajikistan, including an original data set of warlord incorporation and regime purges during wartime reconstruction, are used to evaluate the model.