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The legacy of foreign patrons: External state support and conflict recurrence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8428-4861
2017 (English)In: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578, Vol. 54, no 4, 499-512 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Why do some armed conflicts that have ended experience renewed fighting while others do not? Previous research onconflict recurrence has approached this question by looking at domestic factors such as how the war was fought, howit ended or factors associated with its aftermath. With the exception of the literature on third-party securityguarantees, the influence of outside actors has often been overlooked. This article explores the role of external statesand suggests when and how their involvement is likely to affect the probability of renewed warfare. The mainargument is that the legacy of outside support creates an external support structure that affects the previouscombatants’ willingness as well as their opportunities to remobilize. This means that armed conflicts with externalstate support will experience a greater likelihood of recurrence compared to other conflicts which did not see externalsupport. The theory is tested using Cox proportional hazards models on global data of intrastate armed conflicts1975–2009. The findings suggest that external support to rebels increases the risk of conflict recurrence in the shortterm as groups receive or anticipate renewed assistance. The results also indicate that it is more important for rebelgroups to have had enduring support over the years in the previous conflict rather than access to multiple statesponsors. External support provided to governments is not associated with conflict recurrence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 54, no 4, 499-512 p.
Keyword [en]
civil war, conflict recurrence, external support, third party interventions, state sponsorship, external state support
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323527DOI: 10.1177/0022343317700465OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-323527DiVA: diva2:1106559
Available from: 2017-06-07 Created: 2017-06-07 Last updated: 2017-10-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sponsors of War: State Support for Rebel Groups in Civil Conflicts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sponsors of War: State Support for Rebel Groups in Civil Conflicts
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many civil wars are illustrative of wider international tensions and connections that transcend state borders. States often intervene to influence the trajectory and outcome of civil conflicts by providing external support to warring parties. This assistance ranges from direct military intervention to the provision of weapons, training, funds, safe havens, intelligence, logistics and other critical resources. This dissertation contains four individual essays that each seeks to advance our knowledge of state support to rebel movements. The first essays (I and II) add to our understanding of how external state support influences conflict dynamics while the latter (III and IV) begin to unpack the political decision-making process behind decisions that alter the original support commitment. Essay I evaluates whether state support to rebels increases the probability of civil war negotiations being initiated. The findings question a widespread belief among policymakers that support can foster negotiations. Essay II explores if external support influences the risk of conflict recurrence. It finds that state support to rebels can increase the risk of conflict recurrence in the short-term while there is no equivalent effect of support provided to governments. Essay III is the first global analysis of support termination and it thereby opens up an entirely new research field. The results suggest that the causes related to the initiation of support and its termination are largely distinct while the transition from the Cold War and the absence of ethnic kinship ties offer some insights into when states are more likely to terminate support. Essay IV unpacks the political decision-making process of the United States’ support to the armed opposition in Nicaragua in the 1980s and in Syria in the 2010s. The results indicate that adverse feedback functions as a trigger for increasing previous commitments as long as policy failure can be attributed to external actors, while reduced support is often a result of attributing failure to the state sponsor’s own actions. Taken together, the essays make significant contributions to advance our understanding of biased third-party interventions, conflict recurrence, civil war negotiations, foreign policy decision-making and state sponsorship of terrorism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning, Uppsala universitet, 2017. 38 p.
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 116
Keyword
external support, intervention, civil war, state sponsorship, conflict delegation, proxy war, internationalized conflict, negotiations, conflict recurrence, US foreign policy, Nicaragua, Syria
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-331868 (URN)978-91-506-2662-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-08, Brusewitz-salen, Gamla torget 2, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-17 Created: 2017-10-19 Last updated: 2017-11-17

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Publisher's full texthttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0022343317700465

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Karlén, Niklas

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