Author

Gary Smith

Abstract

How do the psychological characteristics of world leaders affect civil wars? Multiple studies have investigated how the personalities and beliefs of world leaders affect foreign policy preferences and outcomes. However, this research has yet to be applied to the intrastate context, which is problematic, given the growing importance of civil wars in the conflict-studies literature. This dissertation project utilizes at-a-distance profiling methods to investigate how leaders and their psychological characteristics can affect the likelihood, severity, and duration of civil conflicts. The findings of this research provide further support for the general hypothesis that leaders can, and often do, matter when trying to explain policy outcomes. More importantly, the findings demonstrate that leaders can influence the likelihood of civil war onset, the severity of civil wars, and their duration. Additionally, this project investigates the effect that civil war severity has on the psychological characteristics of leaders. Contrary to some previous research, however, the findings here indicate that leaders' psychology may not be sensitive to civil conflict severity.

Graduation Date

2018

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Schafer, Mark

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Political Science

Degree Program

Security Studies

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007375

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007375

Language

English

Release Date

December 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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