14 IPS Notes

14 IPS Notes - IPS Notes 3/5/09 Why do civil wars resist...

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IPS Notes 3/5/09 Why do civil wars resist negotiated settlement? 3 puzzles: o civil wars much less likely to end in negotiated settlements, why? The basic problem: o Once civil wars begin, they become very difficult to end in negotiated settlements This prob is unique to civil wars Civil wars tend to be: o Longer and bloodier than interstante wars. o Most end on the battlefield Because civil wars are so difficult to resolve, they have become the preeminent form of conflict today. o To reduce the #s, you have to figure out how to end them. Why are civil wars so hard to end in negotiated settlements? o The conventional wisdom (these are intuitive and reasonable): Expected utility calculations favor fighting: Wars are not that costly to fight (gov’ts were perceived to be stronger and fighting against weaker opponents) o So, why make a compromise if you can crush your opponent? Outcome is often clear. Govt’s know they will eventually win. o Bargains can’t be reached: Stakes can’t be divided (land can be divided) o Civil wars often fought over land w/ historic and symbolic value or fighting over political control (controlling executive and you can’t really divide that post) Ethnic differences become cemented in ways that resist compromise Combatants hate each other (“ancient hatreds argument”) o Even if stopped fighting, would hate one another even more later o BUT there isn’t much empirical support for these arguments Expected utility doesn’t favor long wars; Wars are costly to fight. o Always fought on the homeland. o Immediate costs and long-term residual costs o Even if costs could be limited, there are still incentives to settle. Outcome of war frequently uncertain o Govts win 40% of the time. Rebels win 35% of time(btw 1945- 1997) Bargains can be reached: Stakes can be divided o Just b/c can’t split something; doesn’t mean you can’t find a
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This note was uploaded on 12/27/2009 for the course IRPS IRCO 410 taught by Professor Barbarawalter during the Winter '09 term at UCSD.

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14 IPS Notes - IPS Notes 3/5/09 Why do civil wars resist...

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