Foreign Military Intervention and the Duration of Civil Wars Revisited

Published date01 December 2019
Date01 December 2019
Subject MatterArticles
1 Professor of Government Emeritus, Mills College, and co-editor of International
Relations of the Middle East.
Corresponding author:
Fred H. Lawson, Professor of Government Emeritus, Mills College, Oakland, CA 94613,
Foreign Military
Intervention and
the Duration
of Civil Wars
Fred H. Lawson
Studies of the impact of foreign military intervention on the duration of
civil wars most often fail to distinguish conflicts in which a single external
state intervenes from those in which several outside states intervene.
One influential quantitative analysis that does explore this distinction
(Cunningham, Journal of Peace Research 47(2), 115–127, 2010) focuses
primarily on whether or not the interests and preferences of the inter-
vening state(s) coincide with those of prominent local actors. By revising
this study’s dataset to clarify the distinction between single-state inter-
ventions and multiple-state interventions, it can be demonstrated that
the latter are associated with lengthier wars than the former. Both types
of foreign military interventions are correlated with civil wars that last
longer than average.
Civil war, intervention, duration, unilateral, adversary–ally relations
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
23(2) 232–241, 2019
2019 Jadavpur University
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/0973598419851366

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