Rebel courts and rebel legitimacy

Journal article

Loyle, Cyanne (2023) Rebel courts and rebel legitimacy, International Politics. DOI:

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Rebel judicial systems are often portrayed as an attempt to usurp the legitimacy of the state in their ability to make and enforce the rules under which civilians live. Yet, not all groups that seek to violently challenge state rule are effective at these legitimacy-seeking aims. This paper examines variation in the structure of rebel courts in order to better understand the potential for these courts to develop legitimacy and challenge the state through procedural fairness, deliberation, and effectiveness. The measurement of these three components of legitimacy is examined through the cases of the CPN-Maoists in Nepal and the PIRA in Northern Ireland. Through the study of the legitimating potential of rebel courts, we are better able to understand the process of legitimation through rebel governance and the concept of legitimacy more broadly.

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