Armed conflict and compliance in Muslim states, 1947-2014 : does conflict look different under international humanitarian law ?
Corri Zoli, Emily Schneider, and Courtney Schuster
Host item entries:
North Carolina journal of international law and commercial regulation, Vol. 40, issue 3, Spring 2015, p. 679-738 : graph., tabl.
The article introduces a new Muslim State Armed Conflict & Compliance (MSACC) dataset that provides an overview of modern armed conflict and international law compliance behavior for all Muslim states from 1947-2014. The MSACC dataset tracks each modern Muslim state, defined by voluntary state membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in both its armed conflict history and compliance record with international humanitarian law (IHL), and the universal international regime governing conduct of hostilities during armed conflict. The dataset encompasses all international (IAC) and non-international (NIAC) armed conflicts as defined by IHL in which a Muslim state acts as a major belligerent party. In using an IHL-based definition of armed conflict, the dataset is distinctive in several ways. First, it relies upon a legal, instead of a political–sociological (i.e., battle deaths) framework for understanding and defining armed conflict. Second, it disaggregates the complex contemporary conflict spectrum into two streamlined types, international and non-international conflicts, as required by respective threshold triggers under IHL. Third, it focuses holistically on self-identified Muslim states in their actual conflict and compliance behavior, rather than on variables of presumed importance (i.e., regime attributes and other proxies). Finally, it correlates conflict and IHL compliance data in ways that offer new insights into traditional problems of conflict and war. By utilizing this data, one can examine Muslim state conflict trends, including by region, time period, and conflict type (i.e., IAC or NIAC), and provide baseline data for Muslim states that may be correlated with other data (e.g., development reports, security expenditures, human rights).