This article uses a collective-action framework to study the mobilization of the Arrow Boys (AB), a community defense militia in South Sudan. Drawing on general collective-action explanations, this article argues that the mobilization of the AB was facilitated by two factors: (1) a strong overlap of the fighter's private and the community's public benefit and (2) close social relationships and expectations within the community. The article supports these theoretical claims by, first, examining the scope conditions under which the AB formed and, second, drawing on individual interviews with AB members from Western Equatoria in South Sudan.

Carlo Koos

Senior Researcher