The difficulty to mobilise in intrastate conflicts: An important problem for rebels is to mobilize people. If you do this at home for, say, an environmental cause, you need to find people willing to support, etc. But in the context of finding people willing to take up arms against the police or the military, plant bombs or blow themselves up, finding people willing to contribute is a lot harder. You also have to figure out how to buy guns, explosives, and other tools of rebellion. There is also a danger that people you approach will alert the police and you will end up in prison or worse.
What circumstances would lead you to take these risks? and how could you get others to follow you? This dilemma is the central challenge faced by rebel groups and terrorist organizations.
States have the ability to mobilise troops, so when we modeled bargaining, we assumed a given underlying power. For non-state actors, however, the problem of collective action is much more prevalent. Groups need to find like-minded individuals and motivate them to participate in the fight. And governments in conflict with such groups have to implement strategies that diminish the pool of potential supporters and/or encourage free-riding.
What can ease the free riding problem? Often individuals may be motivated by very strong religious or ideological beliefs that lead them to see contributing to the cause as beneficial in its own right. Individuals from the same ethnic or religious group may have higher levels of trust or collective solidarity ??????> easier to recruit people from the same ethnic group. ethnic groups may also be more concentrated geographically, making it easier to coordinate their activities Another way to amass fighters is through forcible recruitment, or kidnapping. The UN estimates that there are more than 250k children under the age of 18 participating in civil conflicts around the world. In the absence of strong ethnic ties, might need to compensate supporters materially. diamonds or precious minerals. E.g., Sierra Leone's blood diamonds; Colombia and cocaine trade; Taliban and poppies (heroin). Some rebel groups are essentially criminal gangs deeply engaged in smuggling, human trafficking, and extortion. Population: larger pool to recruit from, and easier to hide