Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention

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Barbara F. Walter, Jack L. Snyder, Jack Snyder
Columbia University Press, 1999 - Political Science - 331 pages

Since the end of the cold war, a series of costly civil wars, many of them ethnic conflicts, have dominated the international security agenda. The international community, often acting through the United Nations or regional organizations like NATO, has felt compelled to intervene with military forces in many of these conflicts -- four of which comprise the heart of this book: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Somalia, Cambodia, and Rwanda. Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention is a detailed examination by a host of distinguished scholars of these recent interventions in order to draw lessons for today's policy debates.

The contributors view ethnic conflict and internal war through the prism of the concept of the security dilemma -- a situation in which parties with strong incentives to cooperate wind up nonetheless in bloody competition out of distrust of the opponent. Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention assesses how international intervention can help solve the security dilemma in civil wars by designing political and military arrangements that make security commitments credible to the warring parties. The mixed record of partial successes, failures, and in some cases counterproductive interventions suggests an urgent need to extract lessons with a view toward developing a framework for making future policy choices.


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Civil War and Insecurity
Civil War and the Security Dilemma
Designing Transitions from Civil War
Case Studies
Bosnia and Herzegovina How Not to End Civil War
Military Intervention in Rwandas Two Wars Partisanship and Indifference
Somalia Civil War and International Intervention
War and Peace in Cambodia
Comparative Analyses
When All Else Fails Evaluating Population Transfers and Partition as Solutions to Ethnic Conflict
The Rationality of Fear Political Opportunism and Ethnic Conflict

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About the author (1999)

Barbara F. Walter is assistant professor of political science at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Jack Snyder is Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations and chair of the Political Science Department at Columbia University.

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