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 accessibly guide students through cutting-edge research on 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.
With a consistent approach across chapters and through a wide variety of cases, the contributors collectively help readers understand some of the most pressing questions in conflict and security studies and illustrates how scholars answer them. This authoritative text offers both an accessible and current overview of the state of the field and an agenda for future research.
The second features:
T. David Mason is the Johnie Christian Family Professor of Peace Studies Emeritus and Regents Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of North Texas. He co-founded UNT's Castleberry Peace Institute, which he directed from its inception in 2009 until 2014. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Georgia in 1982. Mason served on the faculty of Mississippi State University from 1981 to 1992 and University of Memphis from 1992 to 2002, where he was a co-founder of that university's Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change. He served as Associate Editor of International Studies Quarterly (2004-2007) and then Editor-in-Chief (2007-2008) of that journal. Mason served on the American Political Science Association's Task Force on Political Violence and was primary author of that group's final report chapter on how civil wars end. He is the author of Caught in the Crossfire: Revolution, Repression and the Rational Peasant (2004), Sustaining the Peace After Civil War (2007) and co-editor of Conflict Prevention and Peace-building in Post-War Societies: Sustaining the Peace (with James Meernik, 2006). His research on the politics of reform, repression, and civil conflict has appeared American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Social Science Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research and other journals.
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is the F. Wendell Miller Professor of Political Science and the College of Law (courtesy appointment) at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University in 1997. She is author of six books including Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts (2011) and What Do We Know About War? (2021) and she has published more than sixty journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of several major research awards from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and USAID. Her areas of expertise include international conflict, political methodology, and gender issues in academia. Professor Mitchell is co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop, a mentoring workshop for junior women studying international relations. She is the recipient of several research, teaching, and graduate mentoring awards from the University of Iowa, the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (2022), the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award (2015) from the International Studies Association, a distinguished alumni award from Iowa State University, and she served as President of the Peace Science Society.
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Introduction: What Do We Know About Civil Wars?
Part I. Factors That Bring About Civil War
Chapter 1. Introduction: Patterns of Armed Conflict since 1945
Chapter 2. Antecedents of Civil War Onset: Greed, Grievance, and State Repression
Chapter 3. Identity and Civil War: Ethnic and Religious Divisions
Chapter 4. State Capacity, Regime Type, and Civil War
Chapter 5. Transnational Dimensions of Civil Wars: Clustering, Contagion, and Connectedness
Part II. Factors That End Civil Wars and Promote Peace
Chapter 6. Third Party Intervention, Duration, and Outcome of Civil Wars
Chapter 7. Ripe for Resolution: Third Party Mediation and Negotiating Peace Agreements
Chapter 8. Negotiated Peace: Power Sharing in Peace Agreements
Chapter 9. Breaking the Conflict Trap: The Impact of Peacekeeping on Violence and Democratization in the Post-Conflict Context
Chapter 10. The Legacies of Civil War: Health, Education, and Economic Development
Part III. Emerging Trends in Civil War Research
Chapter 11. Transitional Justice: Prospects for Post-War Peace and Human Rights
Chapter 12. Gender and Civil Wars
Chapter 13. Resource Wealth and Civil Conflict
Chapter 14. Environment and Conflict
Chapter 15. Trends in Civil War Data: Geography, Organizations, and Events
Chapter 16. Militias, Criminality, and Conflict
About the Editors
Students always ask me, ‘What should I read to understand civil wars?’ Mitchell and Mason's updated book is the best one-stop primer on the subject. In it, top civil war scholars summarize the state of our knowledge on why civil wars start, last as long as they do, and are so difficult to end, highlighting the emerging trends we are beginning to see in the 21st century. This is a tremendously valuable book for students and scholars alike.
The second edition of this outstanding collection enlightens the reader further on the onset, duration, and outcome of civil wars that continue to plague the global community. In recent years, intrastate wars have increased in numbers and severity, making this updated set of essays, which also includes a greater focus on climate change and intrastate conflict, of even greater import. Each chapter, authored by established scholars, contains a wealth of up-to-date insights about one of the greatest challenges to global security.
What Do We Know about Civil Wars? brings together insights from top scholars in the field about cutting edge research on a variety of questions in the study of civil war. As it is both easily accessible and comprehensive, I expect that it would be an excellent textbook for an advanced undergraduate class, as well as an invaluable resource for graduate students or anyone else setting out to conduct research on civil war.
What Do We Know About Civil Wars is an invaluable resource for students and scholars seeking to understand the complexity of contemporary civil conflicts. The exemplary collection of essays curated in this new edition familiarizes readers with foundational theories and introduces them to cutting edge new research that grapples with timely new questions about the relationships between war and gender, the connections between climate change and armed conflict, and the role of post-conflict justice in ensuring long-term peace.
Scholars and students have widely used What Do We Know about Civil Wars? since its first edition in 2016. The book provides a thorough review of the scholarship on why civil wars start, how they are fought and end, and the effectiveness of various postwar peace-building strategies. In addition, several chapters are thematic, investigating the relationship between civil war and important dimensions such as gender and the environment. Though this new edition has only one new chapter, the editors ensured that the authors thoroughly updated their respective chapters. Each effectively integrates scholarship published since 2016, often showing how understandings of these issues changed in important ways. The book also highlights the many new developments in civil wars since the last edition, justifying a reassessment of the field. This is an excellent resource for scholars and ideal for undergraduates to use in the classroom. Highly recommended. Undergraduates through faculty and professionals.
10/30/23, Faculti: Sara McLaughlin Mitchell examines what we know about the onset, duration, outcomes, and recurrence of civil wars.