International Institutions and Civil War Prevention

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Authors KarrethJohannes, TirJaroslav
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract We examine the potential of highly structured intergovernmental organizations (HSIGOs) to prevent the escalation of low-level, domestic armed conflicts in member states to civil wars. A state’s membership in HSIGOs alters the bargaining game between the government and rebels by increasing the costs of escalation (e.g., via sanctions) and decreasing the amount of benefits the state hoped to receive from future international cooperation. The anticipation of such consequences provides the government with an increased interest in settling the conflict before it escalates. This in turn also mitigates an important aspect of uncertainty associated with bargaining failure, including enhancing the credibility of commitments. Empirical analyses and follow-up tests of all domestic armed conflicts from 1945 to 2000 provide robust support for the hypothesized conflict-management function of HSIGO memberships.
Date of publication 2012
Code Programming Language R
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