Armed non-state actors, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, are visibly engaged in providing social welfare in addition to participating in violence. A number of scholars have suggested that there is a relationship between service provision by terrorist organizations and support from service recipients, and have indicated that terrorist organizations use service provision strategically for this purpose. However, few studies have examined the experiences and opinions of service recipients themselves to understand if services do indeed influence populations' political loyalties and opinions regarding violent activities. Using data from more than 1,000 low to moderate income individuals in Palestine, this study seeks to understand if and how receiving services from a specific organization engenders loyalty to the organization, passive acceptance and/or favorable approval of the organizations' violent activities, and the likelihood of participation in the organization's violent activities. This paper explores if and how provision of aid and “governance” services by armed non-state actors is correlated with various aspects of individuals' experiences of conflict, such as their opinions about the use of violence and various strategies for attaining peace, their fellow community members' likelihood to join armed groups and engage in fighting, and their preferences regarding state structure and legal system.
Flanigan, Shawn Teresa, and Cheryl O'Brien. 2015. "Service-Seeking Behavior, Perceptions of Armed Actors, and Preferences Regarding Governance: Evidence from the Palestinian Territories." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 38 (May): 622-651. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1057610X.2015.1030194