Turning Weakness into Strength
The fact that many civil wars involve several warring parties is often highlighted as an obstacle to conflict resolution. However, this issue has so far attracted little attention in previous research. This article aims to contribute to filling this gap. It is argued that whereas only very strong rebel groups should be able to force concessions, a multiparty context can turn the tables and increase the chances for weak rebel groups to reach a deal. The empirical analysis is based on dyadic data covering the government and each rebel group in all internal armed conflicts, 1989â€”2003. In accordance with the theory, it is found that the likelihood that the government and a weak rebel group will reach a negotiated settlement increases with the number of warring parties in the conflict.
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