Articles

16 Items

Bosnia President Alija Izetbegovic, left, shakes hands with Croatia President Franjo Tudjman in Dayton, Ohio, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 1995.

AP Photo/Joe Marquette

Journal Article - International Security

How Civil Wars End: The International System, Norms, and the Role of External Actors

| Winter 2017/18

Historically, most civil wars have ended with the military defeat of the losing side. In the 1990s, by contrast, civil wars usually ended with a negotiated settlement. What accounts for this anomaly?

Bullets for Ballots: Electoral Participation Provisions and Enduring Peace after Civil Conflict

AP/Luis Romero

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Bullets for Ballots: Electoral Participation Provisions and Enduring Peace after Civil Conflict

    Author:
  • Aila M. Matanock
| Spring 2017

What kinds of peace agreements are most likely to prevent civil conflicts from recurring? Does holding elections after a civil war make enduring peace more likely? Agreements mandating that rebels be allowed to participate in post-conflict elections alongside the government are more likely to succeed, because such elections attract the engagement of international organizations that can reward compliance with the agreement and punish noncompliance.

Pres. Jose Napoleon Duarte, of El Salvador, left, smiles while talking with Pres. Ronald Reagan at the White House, Monday, July 23, 1984, Washington, D.C.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Influencing Clients in Counterinsurgency: U.S. Involvement in El Salvador’s Civil War, 1979–92

    Author:
  • Walter C. Ladwig III
| Summer 2016

In foreign counterinsurgency campaigns from Vietnam to Afghanistan, the United States has often found local elites to be more hindrance than help. Client governments resist U.S.-prescribed reforms crucial to counterinsurgency success because such reforms would undermine their power. The history of the United States’ involvement in El Salvador’s civil war shows that placing strict conditions on military and economic aid is crucial to gaining client governments’ compliance.

Pan-American Conference in Rio de Janeiro, 1906.

Revista de História da Biblioteca Nacional, Rio de Janeiro.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Soft Balancing in the Americas: Latin American Opposition to U.S. Intervention, 1898–1936

    Authors:
  • Max Paul Friedman
  • Tom Long
| Summer 2015

The concept of soft balancing first emerged in analyses of other countries’ attempts to counter U.S. primacy through nonmilitary means after the end of the Cold War. Soft balancing is not a new phenomenon, however. In the early twentieth century, Latin American states sought to end the United States’ frequent interventions in the region by creating international norms against military intervention.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

Ugandan soldiers march in the northern Pader district. The troops were deployed for operations against rebels who mutilate civilians and abduct children in the course of Africa's longest-running civil war.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Ending Civil Wars: A Case for Rebel Victory?

Spring 2010

Since 1990, negotiated settlements have been the preferred method for ending civil wars. A new analysis of all civil war endings since 1940, however, shows that military victory can be more effective than negotiated settlements in establishing lasting peace. The case of Uganda illustrates how peace eludes negotiated settlements and how rebels might be more likely to allow democratization. If stability, democracy, and development are valued objectives, then policymakers should examine victories as well as negotiated settlements to understand the conditions most likely to achieve durable outcomes.

 

Sri Lankans look at artillery pieces captured from Tamil Tigers by the security forces at an exhibition in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Prospect

Nasty, Brutish and Long

April 2009

It’s a busy time for civil wars. The Sri Lankan army has pushed far into Tamil territory, seeking a decisive victory. The killings in Northern Ireland show how spoilers try to gain advantage over rivals in any political process. Then there is the threat that recently pacified civil wars, such as those in Iraq and Sudan, will come back, while the global recession may push new ones forward.

Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

| Summer 2008

The historical record indicates that nonviolent campaigns have been more successful than armed campaigns in achieving ultimate goals in political struggles, even when used against similar opponents and in the face of repression. Nonviolent campaigns are more likely to win legitimacy, attract widespread domestic and international support, neutralize the opponent's security forces, and compel loyalty shifts among erstwhile opponent supporters than are armed campaigns, which enjoin the active support of a relatively small number of people, offer the opponent a justification for violent counterattacks, and are less likely to prompt loyalty shifts and defections. An original, aggregate data set of all known major nonviolent and violent resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006 is used to test these claims. These dynamics are further explored in case studies of resistance campaigns in Southeast Asia that have featured periods of both violent and nonviolent resistance.