Civil War in the Post-Colonial World, 1946-92

Journal article

Singer, J. David & Errol A. Henderson (2000) Civil War in the Post-Colonial World, 1946-92, Journal of Peace Research 37 (3): 275–299.

In this article, we provide a systematic analysis of the extent to which political, economic, and cultural factors are associated with civil wars in the post-colonial states of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Results of logistic regression analyses corroborate previous findings that semi-democracy is associated with an increased likelihood of civil war, while greater economic development reduces the probability of civil war. We also found that militarized post-colonial states are more likely to experience civil war, as are Asian -- more than Middle Eastern and African -- states. Among the political, economic, and cultural factors, semi-democracy has the greatest impact on the probability of civil war, which suggests the greater role of political -- more than economic or cultural -- factors in post-colonial civil wars. All told, the findings suggest that a multifaceted strategy of full democratization, demilitarization, and development is required to reduce the likelihood of civil war in post-colonial states.

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