This seminar explores the territorial dimensions of enduring internal rivalries (EIRs), which are defined as protracted domestic violent conflicts between governments and insurgent groups. It argues that domestic-level territorial conflicts become protracted because rebels have tactical advantages that allow fighting to continue. Three specific hypotheses flow from this argument including that territorial disputes are likely to evolve into EIRs and that territorial EIRs are more likely to recur and produce shorter peace spells than other types of domestic conflict. These hypotheses are tested by conducting statistical analyses of 220 internal armed conflicts and robust and substantively strong empirical support is found. This seminar suggests that territorial issues should be studied from an enduring, protracted standpoint for their effect on domestic conflict to be fully appreciated. It also offers new insights into how territory matters and suggests that territorial issues are not simply reducible to the concerns of ethnicity and identity in explaining protracted civil wars, as much of the conventional wisdom suggests.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.