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What Do We Know about Civil Wars?

Edited by T. David Mason and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell

Since World War II, civil wars have replaced interstate wars as the most frequent and deadly form of armed conflict globally. How do we account for when and where civil wars are likely to occur, when and how they are likely to end, and whether or not they will recur? In this timely book, leading scholars guide us through what the latest research tells us about the onset, duration, outcomes, and recurrence of civil wars, as well as the ongoing consequences of conflicts in war-torn countries such as Syria, Sudan, and Rwanda. In mapping out the current state of our knowledge about civil conflicts, the authors also identify what we do not know about civil wars. The book describes new directions in civil-war research, including transitional justice institutions in post-conflict environments, the “resource curse,” the role of women, and the relationship between the environment and civil conflict. The authors also highlight new trends in civil-war data collection that have enabled scholars to examine the geographic and temporal patterns of armed conflict. This authoritative text offers both an accessible and current overview of current knowledge and an agenda for future research.

With contributions by Halvard Buhaug, David E. Cunningham, Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, Jacqueline H. R. DeMeritt, Karl DeRouen Jr., Paul F. Diehl, Andrew Enterline, Erika Forsberg, Scott Gates, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, Nils Petter Gleditsch, Caroline A. Hartzell, Cullen Hendrix, Jacob Kathman, Christopher Linebarger, T. David Mason, Erik Melander, Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, Alyssa K. Prorok, Idean Salehyan, Lee J. M. Seymour, Megan Shannon, Benjamin Smith, David Sobek, Clayton L. Thyne, Henrik Urdal, Joseph K. Young
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 364Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-4224-1 • Hardback • May 2016 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4422-4225-8 • Paperback • May 2016 • $39.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-4226-5 • eBook • May 2016 • $37.00 • (£24.95)
T. David Mason is Regents Professor and Johnie Christian Family Peace Professor, University of North Texas.
Sara McLaughlin Mitchellis professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Iowa.
List of Figures
List of Tables

T. David Mason, Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, and Alyssa K. Prorok

Chapter 1: Introduction – Patterns of Armed Conflict since 1945
Nils Petter Gleditsch, Erik Melander, and Henrik Urdal
Chapter 2: Antecedents of Civil War Onset: Greed, Grievance, and State Repression
Joseph K. Young
Chapter 3: Identity Issues and Civil War: Ethnic and Religious Divisions
Lee J.M. Seymour and Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham
Chapter 4: State Capacity, Regime Type, and Civil War
Karl DeRouen Jr. and David Sobek
Chapter 5: Transnational Dimensions of Civil Wars: Clustering. Contagion, and Connectedness
Erika Forsberg

Chapter 6: Third Party Intervention and the Duration and Outcomes of Civil WarsChristopher Linebarger and Andrew Enterline
Chapter 7: Ripe for Resolution: Third Party Mediation and NegotiatingPeace Agreements
Jacob D. Kathman and Megan Shannon
Chapter 8: Negotiated Peace: Power Sharing in Peace Agreements
Caroline A. Hartzell
Chapter 9: Breaking the Conflict Trap: The Impact of Peacekeeping onViolence and Democratization in the Post-Conflict Context
Paul F. Diehl
Chapter 10: The Legacies of Civil War: Health, Education, and Economic Development
Clayton L. Thyne

Chapter 11: Transitional Justice: Prospects for Post-War Peace andHuman Rights
Jacqueline H.R. DeMeritt
Chapter 12: Gender and Civil Wars
Erik Melander
Chapter 13: Exploring the Resource-Civil War Nexus
Benjamin Smith
Chapter 14: Environment and Conflict
Cullen Hendrix, Scott Gates, and Halvard Buhaug
Chapter 15: Trends in Civil War Data: Geography, Organizations, and Events
David E. Cunningham, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, and Idean Salehyan

Author Biographies
For those who wonder whether all the effort that goes into political science really yields much benefit, Mason and Mitchell provide some reassurance by bringing together leading experts on civil wars for a substantial stock-taking exercise. Because wars within states are so much more common than wars between states, there is a rich amount of material available on their origins, incidence, duration, and effects. One can always doubt whether scholars can actually generate meaningful theories by comparing disparate cases, but this book shows how a combination of methodologies allows analysts to identify and explore a number of important issues, including the role of ethnicity, the importance of state capacity (or lack thereof), and the problems of bringing civil wars to definitive conclusions.
Foreign Affairs

This outstanding collection of essays enlightens the reader about the onset, duration, and outcome of civil wars that plague the global community, resulting in massive casualties and destruction. Today, it is Syria; tomorrow it will be somewhere else. Mason and Mitchell have assembled contributions from many of the best scholars in the study of civil wars. Every chapter contains a wealth of up-to-date insights about one of the greatest challenges to global peace.
Todd Sandler, University of Texas at Dallas

Students of conflict processes must, of necessity, cross analytical boundaries between inter-state and intra-state conflict, uncovering their interrelationships, commonalities, and differences. In What Do We Know about Civil Wars? T. David Mason and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell admirably address these tasks by bringing together top-notch scholars doing cutting-edge research on the onset, dynamics, and outcomes of civil wars. This is a must-have book for all who are concerned with conflict in the contemporary global system.
Harvey Starr, emeritus, University of South Carolina

With stimulating essays that address why, how, and where civil wars break out, how long they last, why they end, and whether they recur, this book is a valuable resource for students, instructors, and researchers alike. Suitable for both advanced undergraduate and graduate courses, the volume not only covers existing theory and evidence, but highlights directions where further research is needed.
Will H. Moore, Arizona State University

Review the online appendix here.

Provides comprehensive literature reviews of civil war onset, duration, outcomes, and consequences and presents information on newer trends in civil war research

Identifies remaining puzzles in the study of civil wars

Illustrates the broader findings with case-study examples from a wide variety of civil wars

Introduces readers to the major datasets on civil wars/armed conflict and helps them to conceptualize civil wars as distinct processes from other forms of intrastate violence

Covers the leading explanations for civil war onset, including greed, grievance, state capacity, regime type, natural resources, ethnicity, and transnational contagion

Helps readers understand the various tools of peaceful conflict management that have been employed to end civil wars and preserve long-term peace, such as peacekeeping missions, transitional justice institutions, mediation, and power-sharing agreements

Links civil wars to increasing global problems related to environmental climate changes and shortages of important resources such as water and oil

Identifies the major consequences of civil wars for citizens’ health, access to education, and economic opportunities as well as the broader implications for successful democratization

Shows how women are playing important roles in civil wars and how their status in society is important for preserving peace

Examines how civil wars are connected in regional contexts through clustering, contagion, and connectedness