Quantitative studies have focused on economics, social structures, and lack of political freedoms as being elemental factors for civil war onset. However, these studies have neglected the possibility of a civil war being an unintended consequence of international military intervention. I conduct an empirical analysis of the association between military intervention and civil war onset by collecting data for twenty countries within the Middle East/North African regions from 1980 to 2000. Using the International Military Intervention data set, I categorized “international intervention” into nine different types, all of which were regressed with intrastate war data derived from the Correlates of War project. Two logit regression analyses were used to obtain the results, one of which analyzes civil war at time t and the independent variables at t-1. Additionally, marginal effects were computed to reflect accurate estimates. Overall, the data revealed that certain types of interventions are conducive to civil war onset, such as those pursuing terrorists or rebel groups across the border, gaining or retaining territory, and humanitarian interventions. Other types of interventions, such as those for social protection purposes, taking sides in a domestic dispute, and for the purpose of affecting policies of the target country, has a negative association with civil war onset. Two case studies, the 1953 U.S. intervention into Iran and the 1979 Soviet Union intervention into Afghanistan, reflects the observed findings of the two regression models. The occurrences of international military interventions and civil wars have increased dramatically since the end of World War II; therefore, it is important to have a better understanding of the association between the two events. To my knowledge, this is the first study that has categorized different types of interventions under which results indicate that the purpose of a military intervention does effect the likelihood of civil war onset. Scholars may develop this study further with the goal of establishing a better understanding of both phenomena so that we can find more efficient ways of preventing them.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Political Science; International Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Mellott, Melinda, "An Empirical Analysis of the Association Between Types of Interventions and Civil War Onset" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 1425.