The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region or to change government policies. Most modern civil wars involve intervention by outside powers. 2000 saw international intervention, with the United States intervening in war decreases personal privacy pdf of these conflicts.
While the rate of emergence of new civil wars has been relatively steady since the mid-19th century, the increasing length of those wars has resulted in increasing numbers of wars ongoing at any one time. The intensity at which a civil disturbance becomes a civil war is contested by academics. 100 must come from each side. 1000 war-related casualties per year of conflict. Based on the 1000-casualties-per-year criterion, there were 213 civil wars from 1816 to 1997, 104 of which occurred from 1944 to 1997. If one uses the less-stringent 1000 casualties total criterion, there were over 90 civil wars between 1945 and 2007, with 20 ongoing civil wars as of 2007. Conventions are “so general, so vague, that many of the delegations feared that it might be taken to cover any act committed by force of arms”.
That the Party in revolt against the de jure Government possesses an organized military force, an authority responsible for its acts, acting within a determinate territory and having the means of respecting and ensuring respect for the Convention. That the legal Government is obliged to have recourse to the regular military forces against insurgents organized as military and in possession of a part of the national territory. That the dispute has been admitted to the agenda of the Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations as being a threat to international peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression. That the insurgents have an organization purporting to have the characteristics of a State. That the insurgent civil authority exercises de facto authority over the population within a determinate portion of the national territory. That the armed forces act under the direction of an organized authority and are prepared to observe the ordinary laws of war.
That the insurgent civil authority agrees to be bound by the provisions of the Convention. According to the study, the most influential explanation for civil war onset is the opportunity-based explanation by James Fearon and David Laitin in their 2003 American Political Science Review article. Scholarly analysis supports the conclusion that economic and structural factors are more important than those of identity in predicting occurrences of civil war. The study found that statistically switching the size of a country’s diaspora from the smallest found in the study to the largest resulted in a sixfold increase in the chance of a civil war. The study interpreted these three factors as proxies for earnings forgone by rebellion, and therefore that lower forgone earnings encourage rebellion. Low per capita income has been proposed as a cause for grievance, prompting armed rebellion. However, for this to be true, one would expect economic inequality to also be a significant factor in rebellions, which it is not.
Most proxies for “grievance”—the theory that civil wars begin because of issues of identity, rather than economics—were statistically insignificant, including economic equality, political rights, ethnic polarization and religious fractionalization. Only ethnic dominance, the case where the largest ethnic group comprises a majority of the population, increased the risk of civil war. A country characterized by ethnic dominance has nearly twice the chance of a civil war. However, the combined effects of ethnic and religious fractionalization, i. The study interpreted this as stating that minority groups are more likely to rebel if they feel that they are being dominated, but that rebellions are more likely to occur the more homogeneous the population and thus more cohesive the rebels. These two factors may thus be seen as mitigating each other in many cases. James Fearon and David Laitin find that ethnic and religious diversity does not make civil war more likely.
In a state torn by civil war, the contesting powers often do not have the ability to commit or the trust to believe in the other side’s commitment to put an end to war. When considering a peace agreement, the involved parties are aware of the high incentives to withdraw once one of them has taken an action that weakens their military, political or economical power. Commitment problems may deter a lasting peace agreement as the powers in question are aware that neither of them is able to commit to their end of the bargain in the future. Political scientist Barbara Walter suggests that most contemporary civil wars are actually repeats of earlier civil wars that often arise when leaders are not accountable to the public, when there is poor public participation in politics, and when there is a lack of transparency of information between the executives and the public. Walter argues that when these issues are properly reversed, they act as political and legal restraints on executive power forcing the established government to better serve the people. Additionally, these political and legal restraints create a standardized avenue to influence government as well as increasing the commitment credibility of established peace treaties.
According to Walter, it is the strength of a nation’s institutionalization and good governance—not the presence of democracy nor the poverty level—that is the number one indicator of the chance of a repeat civil war according to Walter. High levels of population dispersion and, to a lesser extent, the presence of mountainous terrain, increased the chance of conflict. Both of these factors favor rebels, as a population dispersed outward toward the borders is harder to control than one concentrated in a central region, while mountains offer terrain where rebels can seek sanctuary. The various factors contributing to the risk of civil war rise increase with population size. The risk of a civil war rises approximately proportionately with the size of a country’s population. The more time that has elapsed since the last civil war, the less likely it is that a conflict will recur.
The study had two possible explanations for this: one opportunity-based and the other grievance-based. Alternatively, elapsed time may represent the gradual process of healing of old hatreds. The study found that the presence of a diaspora substantially reduced the positive effect of time, as the funding from diasporas offsets the depreciation of rebellion-specific capital. 19th century, 19th century to early 20th century, and late 20th century.
In 19th-century Europe, the length of civil wars fell significantly, largely due to the nature of the conflicts as battles for the power center of the state, the strength of centralized governments, and the normally quick and decisive intervention by other states to support the government. 19th century, largely due to weakness of the many postcolonial states and the intervention by major powers on both sides of conflict. 1900 and 1944 lasted on average one and half years. The state itself formed the obvious center of authority in the majority of cases, and the civil wars were thus fought for control of the state. This meant that whoever had control of the capital and the military could normally crush resistance. A rebellion which failed to quickly seize the capital and control of the military for itself normally found itself doomed to rapid destruction. 18th and 19th centuries, which further reduced the number of civil wars.