Skip to main content

From Rebelling to Ruling: Insurgent Victory and State Capture in Africa

Back to All Publications

Political order following rebel victory in civil wars has seen remarkable variation. While some rebellions transform their victories into durable regimes, others do not. This article develops a typological framework to assess the ability, and inability, of victorious rebellions to capture the state after overthrowing incumbents, with a focus on Africa. We argue that these outcomes – state capture, failed state capture, or mixed – depend on two key dimensions of political and military centralization before victory: (1) the distribution of power between rebel organizations participating in the civil war and (2) the communal structure within them.

View All Publications