Research Publication Title

Third Party Interventions Into Internal Conflicts

Major

Political Science

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Min S. Kim

Keywords

internationalized internal conflicts civil war interventions

Abstract

Following the collapse of the Cold War regime, the international system experienced a dynamic shift from the traditional warfare methods from the past. Since 1946, there has been a drastic increase in the number of internal conflicts fought within a state, while subsequently the amount of interstate wars has rapidly declined. However, a substantial portion of these internal conflicts become internationalized, with the intervention of outside actors either on behalf of the government or rebel groups. As the nature of the international system has recently changed, traditional interstate wars have become less common as the opting for pacific methods such as diplomacy as opposed to overt uses of force is preferred. Previous research has typically separated interstate and intrastate conflict as mutually exclusive phenomenon; however, this research aspires to observe this relationship from a macro-perspective in determining the effect civil wars have on becoming internationalized conflicts. Additionally, evidence constructed will support the idea that neighboring states may intervene in order to prevent spillover effects into their territory, and that increased brutality or casualties might also cause outsides states to intervene. This research will empirically demonstrate the relationship that the factors of duration of war, proximity, and intensity may have in determining whether outside states will intervene in the internal militarized conflict of another. An in depth analysis of these conclusions can assist in formulating conflict prevention strategies in the future regarding the escalation of internal conflicts.

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Third Party Interventions Into Internal Conflicts

Following the collapse of the Cold War regime, the international system experienced a dynamic shift from the traditional warfare methods from the past. Since 1946, there has been a drastic increase in the number of internal conflicts fought within a state, while subsequently the amount of interstate wars has rapidly declined. However, a substantial portion of these internal conflicts become internationalized, with the intervention of outside actors either on behalf of the government or rebel groups. As the nature of the international system has recently changed, traditional interstate wars have become less common as the opting for pacific methods such as diplomacy as opposed to overt uses of force is preferred. Previous research has typically separated interstate and intrastate conflict as mutually exclusive phenomenon; however, this research aspires to observe this relationship from a macro-perspective in determining the effect civil wars have on becoming internationalized conflicts. Additionally, evidence constructed will support the idea that neighboring states may intervene in order to prevent spillover effects into their territory, and that increased brutality or casualties might also cause outsides states to intervene. This research will empirically demonstrate the relationship that the factors of duration of war, proximity, and intensity may have in determining whether outside states will intervene in the internal militarized conflict of another. An in depth analysis of these conclusions can assist in formulating conflict prevention strategies in the future regarding the escalation of internal conflicts.