Breaking the Conflict Trap: On the Factors Contributing to Civil War Recurrence

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This is the presentation that I delivered on my research (of the same name) at the 2nd annual Graduate Student Research Conference at George Mason's School of Public Policy on Friday, March 22. For a …

This is the presentation that I delivered on my research (of the same name) at the 2nd annual Graduate Student Research Conference at George Mason's School of Public Policy on Friday, March 22. For a copy of the paper, visit http://timkovach.com/wp/6cUgT.

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  • Introduction to my research topicReview of literature on civil conflict recurrenceDescribe my dependent & independent variables, key data sources I utilized for analysisDiscuss preliminary results from my models Provide final results of my regression analysis, discuss their implicationsConclusion
  • interstate conflict has become considerably less common since end of WWII civil conflict has proliferated during this period, however 127 civil conflicts occurred from 1945-1999, killing 16.2 million people average duration of civil conflict has increased to 16 years – increasingly intractable increase in number of civil conflicts largely due to recurrence of same wars, not new conflicts even as total # of civil wars increased through the 90s, continued to affect 1-2% of countries
  • conducted statistical analysis to answer my key research question: Which factors are the most significant determinants of civil conflict recurrence within a ten-year period?
  • Conflict recurrence literature breaks into 3 groups: Root causes of original conflict identity conflicts may be more intractable conflicts over natural resources may be more likely to recur How original conflict was fought conflict intensity – deadlier civil wars may be more likely to recur conflict duration – longer civil wars less likely to recur longer wars reveal additional information about opposing forces may also contribute to war weariness effect Settlement & peacebuilding process military victories more likely to have durable peace peace agreements may be more likely to hold; evidence ambiguous ceasefires appear more likely to fail, lead to recurrence 3rd party peacekeeping operations may improve chances peace will hold – unclear economic & social development after conflict should make peace more durable
  • Dependent variable: civil conflict recurrence Analyzed civil conflicts ending from 1946-2001 data from Uppsala Conflict Termination Database if conflict btwn same actors occurred multiple times – only included initial recurrence Testing whether conflicts relapsed within 10-year period Included 5-year measure for sensitivity analysis
  • Conflict Termination (binary variables): Military Victory, Peace Agreement, Ceasefire Agreement From UCDP/PRIO Conflict Termination Dataset Conflict Context :Logged Conflict Duration (months)Identity Conflict (Fearon, 2004) – binary variableNatural Resource Conflict, UN Peacekeeping Operation (Rustad & Binningsbø, 2012) – binary variablesPost-Conflict Development (interval variables):Infant Mortality Rate, Natural Resource Rents as % of GDPFrom World Development IndicatorsControls:Logged Population – Penn World TablesAnocracy (binary) – Polity IV Dataset Cold War – conflicts that ended during the Cold War Africa – conflicts that occurred in Africa civil conflict appears more likely to occur in Africa
  • 189 total conflicts in dataset (additional 11 had ended by 2006) 33% of conflicts recurred (26% within 5 years) 71% of conflicts involved identity, 41% involved natural resources logged conflict duration & population due to high variance in data
  • ran correlations to get a better sense of the relationships btwn variables military victory has significant, negative correlation with conflict recurrence conflict duration, natural resource conflict & anocracy positively correlated with conflict recurrence UN PKOs negatively correlated with military victories may show the UN sends PKOs into most challenging conflict settings
  • ran logistic regressions for independent variables, controlling for anocracy & logged population military victory significantly reduced conflict recurrence risk within 5 & 10 years longer conflicts nearly 2x as likely to recur in both periods identity & natural resource conflicts 2x more likely to recur in both periods natural-resource dependent states slightly more likely to experience recurrence within 10 yearsanocracies significantly more likely to experience conflict recurrence in both periods
  • based on initial regressions, developed models to test effects of independent variables, controlling for additional variables Model 1 examined how original conflict terminated Model 2 examined context of original conflict Model 3 looked at post-conflict development variables Model 4 studied variables that were significant in previous regressions Model 5 ran all variables, Model 6 included Cold War & Africa controls only military victory, natural resource conflict, & anocracy were significant across models – robust to model changes
  • Military victories more than 80% less likely to relapseNatural resource conflicts 2-3x more likely to recurAnocracies 3-4x more likely to experience recurring conflict Conflict Duration & Natural Resource dependence significant in 1 model each, not robust to changes
  • Military victory results may support Luttwak’s “give war a peace” thesis civil conflicts may need to burn themselves out outside intervention may prevent major sources of conflict from being sorted out Natural resource conflicts more intractable than other conflict types supports Rustad & Binningsbø’s results suggest need to include natural resource issues in peace agreements new natural resource management & enviro governance systems put in place for just 25% of post-conflict countries Democratization process fraught with risksanocracies are 3-4x more likely to experience recurring conflict process of democratization after conflict may be particularly risk-prone seems to support Roland Paris’s proposal – institutionalization before liberalization pushing to hold elections at all costs can be risky, lead to more conflict

Transcript

  • 1. TIM KOVACHAMERICAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICE MARCH 22, 2013
  • 2.  Introduction to research topic Review of literature on civil conflict recurrence Describe variables, data sources Discuss preliminary results Provide final results, analysis Conclusion
  • 3.  Research Question: Which factors are the most significant determinants of civil conflict recurrence within a ten-year period?
  • 4.  Conflict recurrence literature breaks into 3 groups: • Root causes of original conflict • How original conflict was fought • Settlement & peacebuilding process
  • 5.  Dependent variable: civil conflict recurrence Analyzed civil conflicts ending from 1946-2001 • Tested whether conflicts relapsed within 10-year period • Included 5-year measure for sensitivity analysis Courtesy of Uppsala Conflict Database
  • 6.  Conflict Termination variables • Military Victory, Peace Agreement, Ceasefire Agreement Conflict Context variables • Conflict duration, identity conflict, natural resource conflict, UN peacekeeping operation Post-Conflict Development (interval variables): • Infant Mortality Rate, Natural Resource Rents as % of GDP Controls: • Population, Anocracy, Cold War conflict, African state
  • 7.  Military victories more than 80% less likely to relapse Natural resource conflicts 2-3x more likely to recur Anocracies 3-4x more likely to experience recurring conflict
  • 8.  Military victory results may support Luttwak’s thesis Natural resource conflicts more intractable than other conflict types Democratization process fraught with risks
  • 9. Tim Kovach American University, School of International Servicetimothy.kovach@american.edu