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Title:Spoiling the Peace or Seeking the Spoils?: Civil War Outcomes and the Role of Spoilers
Author(s):Findley, Michael Glenn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Diehl, Paul F.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, International Law and Relations
Abstract:One of the greatest threats to the peaceful resolution of civil wars comes from "spoilers," leaders and factions who use violent or nonviolent strategies to alter the course and outcome of a peace process. Spoilers have successfully wrecked peace agreements in contexts as diverse as Rwanda, Angola, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia. This dissertation addresses the questions: (1) under what conditions do individual groups use spoiling strategies that risk derailing the peace process and (2) what are the aggregate effects of spoiling behavior on the process as a whole. I argue that to understand spoiler behavior, its causes and effects over the course of an interdependent three-stage peace process need to be examined. In particular, groups must choose whether to spoil decisions to negotiate, peace agreements, and the implementation of those agreements. Changing incentives to spoil are rooted in the capability and opportunity structure that groups face at each of these stages. These incentives influence individual group behavior (to spoil or cooperate), which; in turn, affects the outcome of the peace process (is peace achieved, or is there a return to war?). Because of the complexities of civil wars (e.g., multiple factions, multiple stages, path dependencies, and extreme uncertainty), I use an agent-based computational model to generate hypotheses about spoiling behavior. The hypotheses are tested using data on all civil wars between 1945--1999, and with case studies of the Bosnia and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe civil wars. Empirical tests support many of the theoretical propositions and show that spoiling behavior occurs throughout peace processes often motivated by different factors, and having different effects, depending on the stage of the process.
Issue Date:2007
Description:253 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3290233
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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