Intervention, capabilities, costs, and the outcome of civil wars
Dixon, Jeffrey Scott
Stoll, Richard J.
Doctor of Philosophy
A game-theoretic model of civil war termination is constructed that incorporates processes of bargaining and coercion. Key features of the model are the asymmetric nature of bargaining between the government and rebels, the presence of a post-agreement security dilemma representing the implementation phase of the agreement, and a model of how the military situation is expected to change over time. This model generates hypotheses, which are tested using newly collected data on all civil wars fought and terminated between 1816 and 1997. As the relative capabilities of the government increase, its probability of victory increases, and the probability of a rebel win or a compromise settlement decreases. Military intervention is found to exert a substantial positive effect on the likelihood of compromise, which persists even after controlling for the purely military contributions of the intervenors. In addition, the analysis suggests that although military intervention promotes compromise, it also reduces the probability of a quick end to the fighting.
Political science; International relations; International law