Why do some states target civilians with violence whereas others exercise restraint? I argue regimes are more likely to victimize civilians when they believe that they can hide their actions and thereby avoid international and domestic blowback. This means that governments will prove less likely to commit atrocities in situations where information and communication technologies (ICTs) make secrecy and plausible deniability difficult. Statistical analyses provide strong support for this claim. The findings shed light on how ICTs shape violence and how states strategically employ secrecy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations