SURVIVAL ANALYSIS 10
Theimportance of social and economic stability cannot be gainsaid as faras the survival of any society is concerned. This is especiallyconsidering that it would be impossible for any society to experiencean element of cohesiveness or even make any developmental plans forthe future without knowing some level of stability. Unfortunately,the world has been experiencing a number of destabilizing episodes inthe recent times. This is especially internal conflicts betweenvaried societies within a nation. Indeed, scholars have noted thatsince the Second World War, there has been a significant reduction inconflicts between nations but an increase in conflicts withinnations. These have been worsened by the increased technologicaladvancements that have allowed for enhanced annihilations anddestructions. As much as there are variations in the magnitude andthe durations of these conflicts, it is evident that any civil war isbound to have some destabilizing effects on the country itself, aswell as its neighbors. Needless to say, volumes of literature havebeen crafted in an effort to explore the varied aspects of civil warsincluding the determinants of the durations within which they exist,why they occur, as well as how lasting peace can be safeguarded. Thispaper explores varied works of literature that have been writtenexamining the varied aspects of civil war and the capacity of nationsto survive such conflicts.
JosephK. Young, in “Repression, Dissent and the Onset of Civil War”explains the interaction between states and dissidents in jointlygiving rise to civil war. He acknowledges that the conventionalwisdom among scholars revolves around the notion that countries thatare resource-poor or weak have a higher risk of experiencing civilwar. However, quite a large number of weak states do not evenexperience such episodes. Young examines the reasons why there is ahigher likelihood for the occurrence of civil war in some countriesthan others.
Previously,civil war has been explained using the opportunity or grievanceapproach. This approach states that there exist certain backgroundactions or conditions by the state that would be likely to influencemembers of the public to participate in active violent opposition.These may include inconsistent regimes, ethnic heterogeneity, or evenregimes that have aspects of repression and openness. On the samenote, scholars have also suggested that there is an increase in thelikelihood for the occurrence of civil war in cases whereopportunities for rebellion are present. This may especially be incases where rebels have the capacity to extract resources or extortthe public, in which case they have a low opportunity cost forrebellions. Similarly, the presence of conditions favoring insurgencyincreases the risk of civil wars. These conditions may includefinancial weakness which affects the capacity of the state to carryout counterinsurgency, offer local policing or use discriminateviolence.
Youngalso examines the conditions that are likely to change civilians intodissidents. Citizens may offer fail to be supportive of their leadersand still desist from dissident activities. However, the farther thepreferences of citizens are from the state policies, the higher thelikelihood that the citizens will take part in dissident activities.Civil war always involves a violent confrontation between the stateand the civilians, where dissidents act and states repress.
Young’sstudy is guided by varied hypothesis. First, he hypothesizes that anincrease in the possibility of dissident success heightens thelikelihood for civilians to be dissident. Second, a reduction insocietal support for their leaders results in more dissidentactivity. Third, states respond to heightened dissidence withincreased repression. Forth, the more the insecure a leader’s jobis, the higher the repression that the state increases. Lastly,increased repression results in a reduction of societal support.
Whilethe research supports the notion that resource-deprived states have ahigher likelihood for engaging in civil war, it goes on to explainthat these states have a higher susceptibility to challengespertaining to dissidence, and that they increase the possibility forcivil wars through repression that lowers the popular support thatessentially triggers the process of violence. Leaders whose jobs arenot secure use repression so as to stay in power in the short-termwhile increasing the likelihood of civil wars in the long-term.
MathewMoore, on the other hand, explores how fundamental transfers ofconventional weapons affect the duration and severity of civil wars.He acknowledges that a large proportion or even all civil wars arefought using small and light arms. However, the availability of keyweapons to rebels and states may modify the nature of civil wars.Moore’s study develops a recipient-based approach to acquisition ofweapons thereby shedding light on the necessary arms control policiesfor reducing the destruction emanating from the proliferation ofconventional weapons.
Moore’sstudy is guided by a number of hypotheses. First, he hypothesizesthat the transfer of key traditional weapons to rebel groups that aretaking part in a civil war would increase the conflict’s severity.Secondly, such transfers to states that are in civil wars heightensits severity. Third, the transfer of such weapons to rebel groupsthat are engaging in civil wars should reduce the duration of theconflict. Lastly, the transfer of these weapons to governments thatare taking part in civil wars increases the duration of the conflict.
Theresults of the study show that the provision of key conventionalweapons to rebels heightens civil wars’ severity. An average of 1%increase in key conventional weapons’ volume transferred to rebelsled to a 4% increase in casualties. However, there exists limitedevidence to support the notion that there would be an increase in theseverity of civil war as a result of transferring such weapons to thegovernment that is taking part in the civil war. On the same note,there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the provision ofkey conventional weapons to rebels would increase the conflict’sduration.
Theseresults show that the acquisition of weapons by rebel groups shouldbe opposed so as to avert the possibility of escalating conflicts. Asmuch as it may be desirable to defend groups from regimes that areoppressive, arming such groups would only result in more bloodshedand never reduces the duration of the conflict. On the same note,stronger weapon embargoes should also be placed on states that areinvolved in civil wars. However, it is imperative that effectivecontrols go beyond blocking official transfers especially consideringthat both rebels and states can obtain key conventional weapons viaunofficial channels.
However,questions have been raised regarding the impact of globalization onthe probability for the occurrence of civil war. Mark David Nieman,in his article “Shocksand Turbulence: Globalization and the Occurrence of Civil War”examineshow globalization shocks impacted the civil wars between 1970 and1999. Nieman notes that as much as enhanced global exposure offersindividual citizens and states enormous benefits, sudden shockspertaining to globalization may overwhelm the capacity of a state tooffset globalization’s negative impacts, thereby weakening thecapacity of a state to combat rival polities for its citizen’sallegiance. Nieman acknowledges that as much as globalization mayreduce the risk of civil war, the subsequent sudden shocks challengestates’ capacity in providing coping mechanisms that would assistparties that lose from the socially and economically transformativeeffects of the same. The capabilities of states may be overwhelmedleading to increasing discontent among parties that either cannotcompete in the globalised world or feel that their conventional waysof life are being challenged. He acknowledges that globalizationincreases the economical, social and political openness of a state,thereby increasing the level of trade, as well as the economicgrowth. Increased economic integration offers job growth andincreases consumer goods. The openness, however, increases thevulnerability of states to sudden changes in globalization therebyincreasing the possibility of civil wars.
Buildingon the premise of the benefits of globalization, Nieman hypothesizesthat states that undergo the globalization shocks have a higherlikelihood for experiencing a civil war. Secondly, weak states thatundergo such circumstances have a higher possibility of experiencingcivil wars.
Thefindings of Nieman’s study suggest that civil wars may be explainedby sudden shocks or changes in the globalization level. This isespecially with regard to economic variables. Sudden globalizationshocks may amount to an intervening variable that catalyzes theoccurrence of insurgencies and the reasons for addressing thevariables at a certain point in time. It is only after the occurrenceof the shocks does the social order become favorable for a largenumber of dejected and displaced individuals to see the costspertaining to becoming part of an insurgency as in their owninterests. As much as positive shocks causes groups to seek controlover the emerging resources, negative shocks lower the strength ofthe state thereby leaving it exposed and vulnerable to insurgents.After the negative shocks and the consequent increase in themembership of insurgents as a result to a modification of theeconomic calculations, states do not have the capacity to collect theresources necessary for eliminating uprisings effectively.
Needlessto say, every other nation craves for enduring peace and stabilityand resolution of any conflicts that trigger civil war. Suchresolutions are founded on certain conditions and factors. MadeleineO. Hosli and Anke Hoekstra, in their paper titled “WhatFosters Enduring Peace? An Analysis of Factors Influencing Civil WarResolution”explore the reasons why negotiations are initiated and why theduration of conflicts is shortened. The research is based on morethan eighty civil wars that occurred between 1944 and 1997. As muchas the intervention in civil wars offers an immense promise, successis never really guaranteed. Indeed, numerous interventions havefailed to end conflicts and lay the foundation for lasting peace.There are varied factors that may civil wars harder to resolvecompared to interstate wars. Civil wars are usually more intensecompared to interstate wars. In addition, opponents in civil warsusually never return home unlike the case for combatants ininterstate wars. Moreover, it is often difficult to determine thewarring parties or even their leaders in civil wars especiallyconsidering that are usually more than two belligerent parties.
Hosli& Hoekstra (2013) aim at examining the effect that variedexplanatory variables have on the duration of war and the likelihoodof kicking off negotiations. Their research shows that the presenceof “mutual hurting stalemates” and partial interventions ratherthan neutral interventions enhances the likelihood for the occurrenceof negotiations. Further, an increase in the number of warringparties increases the prospects for conducting a negotiations, afactor that may be attributed to the fact that the disputants areafraid of being excluded from negotiations on likely settlement, inwhich case they are more ready to take part in the bargainingprocess. On the same note, military stalemates during conflictsshortens the duration of war. These scholars postulate the notionthat partial intervention that supports the resource-starved andweaker party may create a mutual hurting stalemate, which wouldessentially contribute to the termination of civil war.
Thirdparties in a conflict may use varied strategies to encourage speedycivil war resolution depending on the stage of the peace process. Atthe initial phase where the parties are making decisions on whetherto take part in negotiations, third parties may create a stalemate bysupporting the weaker side so as to establish a balance of power. Ofcourse, rendering support to a weaker party may not necessarily bethe best option for third parties especially considering the costs orimplications involved. Issues pertaining to credibility, fairness andlegitimacy in the eyes of the international community come asextremely crucial in influencing the range of choices at the disposalof the third party, in which case supporting one side would eat intothe choices that the third party has. On the other hand, undertakingneutral interventions increases the likelihood for the lengthening ofthe civil war.
Ofcourse, even after the conflicts have been resolved there is alwaysthe possibility that they would reoccur especially in cases where thefoundation for resolution was not very solid. T. David Mason et al(2011) argue that the length of time that peace prevails after acivil war is determined by the extent by which previous civil war’soutcomes preserved conditions or features of multiple sovereignty, aswell as the extent by which the environment after the civil warestablishes incentives for dissidents to be violent and not sustainpeace. In “WhenCivil Wars Recur: Conditions for Durable Peace after Civil Wars”,Mason et al (2011) state that previous conflict’s outcome affectsthe duration of peace, with the effects varying across time. In thisstudy, the scholars argue that the extent of preservation of multiplesovereignty in post-war environment varies subject to whether thecivil war resulted in a government victory, negotiated settlement orrebel victory. Multiple sovereignty occurs when varied organizedarmed challengers come out with a considerable magnitude of popularsupport. In essence, the extent by which multiple sovereignty ispreserved or dismantled in the postwar environment determines howdurable the post-civil war peace is. As much as multiple sovereigntyincreases the possibility for relapsing into civil war, theoccurrence of the same depends on whether the dissidents areincentivized to revolt instead of sustaining peace.
Masonet al (2011) hypothesize that civil wars whose end is marked bymilitary victory offer a more lasting peace compared to conflictsthat end in negotiated conflicts. In addtition, the authors statethat rebel victories offer a more enduring peace compared togovernment victories. Third, negotiated settlements initiallyincorporate a higher vulnerability for failure of peace compared tomilitary victories although the effect diminishes with time. Fourth,outcomes that international peacekeeping forces enforce lead toincreasingly lasting peace. Fifth, the longer the previous civilwar’s duration, the longer the duration by which peace will lastupon termination of the conflict. Sixth, the more the casualties inthe previous civil war the shorter/longer the peace duration. Lastly,the larger the army of the government, the longer the peace duration.
Thestudy confirmed the hypothesis that rebel victories destroyconditions pertaining to multiple sovereignty in a more thoroughmanner than government victories, which suggests that rebels taketime to eliminate the remnants of defeated governments or rivalgroups and consolidate their victory. As much as settlements offerless durable peace, this is only possible in the initial years afterthe civil war. Indeed, the risk for failure of peace reduces overtime after negotiated settlements. On the same note, governmentvictories survive for a shorter duration as they usually repress therebellion but do no annihilate rebels. Indeed, the defeated rebelsusually regroup thereby increasing the possibility for failure ofpeace after the settlement. On the same note, the longer the durationof the previous war, the lower the possibility that peace will failand civil war will resume. The study supports the notion thatpeacekeeping is effective in bringing a lasting solution andenhancing conflict resolution.
Hosli,M.O & Hoekstra, A (2013). What Fosters Enduring Peace? AnAnalysis of Factors Influencing Civil War Resolution. DeGruyter
Mason,T.D., Mehmet, G., Patrick T. B & Jason M. Q (2011). When CivilWars Recur: Conditions for Durable Peace after Civil Wars.International Studies Perspectives, Vol. 12, 171–189.
Moore,M (2012). Sellingto Both Sides: The Effects of Major Conventional Weapons Transfers onCivil War Severity and Duration. InternationalInteractions,38:325–347
Nieman,M. D (2011). Shocksand Turbulence: Globalization and the Occurrence of Civil War.InternationalInteractions,37:263–292,
Young,J.K (2012). Repression, Dissent, and the Onset of Civil War.PoliticalResearch Quarterly 66(3)516–532