Interventions into Civil Wars

Literature, contemporary policy, and future research

Authored by: Patrick M. Regan

Routledge Handbook of Civil Wars

Print publication date:  February  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415622585
eBook ISBN: 9780203105962
Adobe ISBN: 9781136255786


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A growing body of scholarship has addressed questions of whether, and if so how, to effectively intervene to influence the course of civil wars. As a result of the Arab Spring movement we observe the policy implications of this question on a regular basis. Contemporary examples such as Libya in 2011 and Syria in 2012–13 stand out, but others such as Iraq and Afghanistan are recent enough to linger in the memory of policy makers and constituencies alike. Nor is the policy of intervening in another’s war new – examples of Rwanda, Congo, Colombia, and the Philippines are just some of the other conflicts and other places where interventions took on a central role. And even though the contemporary policy question appears specific to Syria today, the answers are rooted in more general relationships among intervention policies and potential outcomes.

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