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Third Party Intervention and the Duration of Intrastate Conflict

Title: Third Party Intervention and the Duration of Intrastate Conflict
Author: Patrick M. Regan
Pub. Date: December 13, 2001
Full Text: Adobe Acrobat (PDF) [97 KB]

Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 46, No. 1, February 2002.
Copyright: Journal of Conflict Resolution

Recent research has begun to focus on the role of outside interventions in the duration of civil conflicts. Assuming that interventions are a form of conflict management, we would hold ex ante expectations that they would reduce a conflict’s expected duration. In this paper I test hypotheses relating the type and timing of outside interventions to the duration of civil conflicts. The data incorporate 150 conflicts during the period 1945-1999, 101 of which had outside interventions. In those 101 cases there were a total of 1036 individual interventions. Using a hazard analysis the results suggest that third party interventions tend to extend expected durations rather than shorten them. Specifically, interventions that beget opposing interventions increase the expected duration dramatically over the baseline expectations, as do nearly any military or economic intervention. The only aspect of the strategy for intervening that reduces the likelihood that a conflict will end in the next month is that it be biased in favor of either the opposition or the government. In effect, neutral interventions are less effective than biased ones.

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