This research studied the relationship between the degree of civilian control, in military dominated political systems, and military effectiveness in combating insurgency using comparative case study analysis of Turkey and Pakistan and their conflict with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and the Taliban Movement in Pakistan (TTP) respectively. In contemporary world, many states e.g. Ukraine, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia are involved in irregular warfare with insurgencies which are threatening domestic security and disturbing global peace. On another front, many states, especially in the Middle East and Africa, are facing the problem of disturbed civil-military relations or weak civilian control over the military. The degree of civilian control and military effectiveness in combating insurgency, are studied and compared, in eight distinct cases from the recent history of Turkey and Pakistan. Military effectiveness in combating insurgency was studied in all cases using data, about insurgency attack incidents, extracted from the Global Terrorism Database. Comparing Turkey and Pakistan generally, the study found that Turkey is superior to Pakistan in the degree of civilian control and military effectiveness which proposes a positive relationship between the two variables. Comparing the Turkish cases against each other, however, marginalized this claim when this positive relationship was overshadowed by other factors e.g. a destabilized neighboring country or organizational confusion in insurgency’s ranks. Hoping to fill a gap in present literature about civil-military relations and military effectiveness, this thesis proved evidence on the weak positive relationship between civilian control, in military-dominated political systems, and military effectiveness in combating insurgency.


Public Policy & Administration Department

First Advisor

Hodgkins, Allison

Committee Member 1

Ali, Hamid

Committee Member 2

Koehler, Kevin


60 p.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Alison Hodgkins, my thesis supervisor, for her continued and patient help and guidance throughout different stages of doing this thesis. I want to thank my thesis readers, Dr. Hamid Ali and Dr. Kevin Koehler, for their insightful reading and helpful comments. Nothing in this thesis could have been accomplished without the kind and unconditional care and support of my family, Mr. Tarek Elbohy (father), Mrs. Mona Elbohy (mother) and Miss Dalia Elbohy (sister). Also I want to give special thanks to Mr. Kivanc Atak for his guidance about literature on Turkey and the PKK.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Publication Date

Fall 1-24-2016