A seminar with Holger Albrecht, Professor in the Department of Political Science, American University in Cairo (AUC) and MEI Associate.

Modertaed by Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl, Joint Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Middle East Initiative and International Security Program, and Assistant Professor of Politics, University of Virginia (UVA).

What prompts people to engage in political activities that are extremely risky? This question has inspired a myriad of political science works on contentious mobilization and revolutions, the formation of rebel movements and violent insurgencies, and individual action against coercive, authoritarian regimes. This paper contributes to a scholarly discussion on the most effective triggers of high-risk individual action that has circulated around two sets of arguments: individual socio-psychological dispositions as push factors vs. inter-subjective opportunities as pull factors in collective action. Drawing on empirical insights into the Syrian civil war, we are interested in discussing this question in the context of individual military insubordination: what triggers the desertion of individual soldiers and officers from the Syrian army?

Download the paper

For more about Prof. Albrecht, click here.

For more about Prof. Schulhofer-Wohl, click here.

*Please note: this talk was originally advertised with the title "For Money or Liberty? The Political Economy of Military Desertion and Rebel Recruitment in the Syrian Civil War"