USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Zorana Knezevic

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Thomas W. Smith, PhD Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida at St. Petersburg



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The intentional destruction of cultural sites during warfare provokes the question of why would armed actors invest significant resources into carrying out this activity, and what impact does it have in an anned conflict? This thesis identifies four main motivation types of intentional cultural destruction and how they may contribute to intensifYing a conflict. It hypothesizes that as intentional cultural destruction events increase in an armed conflict, so does the occurrence of battles, intensifYing conflict. To test its hypothesis, it utilizes the case studies of Syria and Yemen, conducting a S T A TA regression test for both. The Syrian case study resulted in a null hypothesis; However, a significant negative correlation between the occurrence of intentional cultural destruction events and battles arose for the Yemeni case study. This suggests that as battles decreased, intentional cultural destruction events increased, in the Yemeni case. While significant, many more case studies would need to be conducted, and possibly with alternative variables, to fully investigate intentional cultural destruction in anned conflict further.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

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