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Identity Change and Rebel Party Political Success

  • John Ishiyama


Does a rebel party’s identity change impact its political success after civil wars end? Most work on political parties examines why parties change identities but does not examine the effects of such changes. In this article I examine whether identity change (indicated by party name changes and the official renunciation of violence) affects the political success of rebel parties in terms of seat shares won in the legislature, and inclusion into the executive. Using an original data set on rebel party identity change, I conduct both Prais–Winsten and logit regression analyses and find that although name changes have little impact on political success, renunciation of violence significantly increases the likelihood of both increased seat shares and inclusion in the executive. This finding has important implications regarding the impact of identity change and the transformation of rebel groups into political parties.



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John Ishiyama is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of North Texas, USA. Contact email:



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