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Expectations, Rivalries, and Civil War Duration


What role have states involved in a rivalry with another state played in shaping the dynamics of their rival's civil wars? How can the existence of an interstate rival affect rebel calculations whether to continue fighting or stop the violence and negotiate? And to what extent does rival intervention differ in its impact on civil war duration from interventions by other actors? This paper argues that the existence of an interstate rival can prolong conflict even when actual aid has not been granted. The mere expectation of assistance from a rival, whether in the form of military intervention or provision of funds, can deter rebels from seeking settlement and motivate fighting at least for some time until resources are depleted. We estimate conditions under which interstate rivals are most likely to intervene in civil wars. We then argue that conditions conducive to rival intervention serve as a base upon which rebels form their expectations of forthcoming aid. We use predicted probabilities from the probit and the multinomial logit model to calculate expectations of rival intervention. Finally, using duration analysis we show that expectations of rival intervention can substantially prolong civil wars especially in a transparent society.

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Akcinaroglu, Seden and Elizabeth Radziszewski. 2005. "Expectations, Rivalries, and Civil War Duration." International Interactions 31: 349-374. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03050620500303449?journalCode=gini20

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