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Sustaining the Peace: Determinants of Civil War Recurrence


  • J. Michael Quinn
  • T. David Mason
  • Mehmet Gurses


Over half of all civil wars that began and ended between 1944 and 1997 were followed by at least one if not more episodes of civil war. We present a model to explain which characteristics of a civil war and the post-war environment make civil war more or less likely to recur. We test this model with data on civil wars that began and ended between 1944 and 1997. Findings suggest that civil wars are less likely to recur following rebel victories and peace agreements supported by peacekeeping forces. Post-war economic development also reduces the probability of civil war recurrence, and the longer the peace can be sustained, the less likely civil war is to recur. These effects hold regardless of whether the previous war was ethnically based or not, and whether it was secessionist or revolutionary.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Michael Quinn & T. David Mason & Mehmet Gurses, 2007. "Sustaining the Peace: Determinants of Civil War Recurrence," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 167-193, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ginixx:v:33:y:2007:i:2:p:167-193
    DOI: 10.1080/03050620701277673

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    Cited by:

    1. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust, and Conflict," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1114-1147.
    2. Couttenier, Mathieu & Preotu, Veronica & Rohner, Dominic & Thoenig, Mathias, 2016. "The Violent Legacy of Victimization: Post-Conflict Evidence on Asylum Seekers, Crimes and Public Policy in Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 11079, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "Seeds of distrust: conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 217-252, September.
    4. Yuri M. Zhukov, 2014. "Theory of Indiscriminate Violence," Working Paper 365551, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    5. Lynn Wagner & Daniel Druckman, 2017. "Drivers of Durable Peace: The Role of Justice in Negotiating Civil War Termination," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 45-67, January.
    6. Dominic Rohner, 2018. "Success Factors for Peace Treaties: A Review of Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 18.08, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    7. Thomas Flores & Irfan Nooruddin, 2009. "Financing the peace: Evaluating World Bank post-conflict assistance programs," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, March.

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