Of Democracies, Dictatorships, and Resource Deposits: A Time-Series Analysis of Third-Party State Military Interventions in Civil Wars
Jonathan Andrew Stewart Honig

With the increasing proclivity of civil wars around the globe, it is important to know who gets involved in these conflicts and why. Third-party states considering whether to intervene in an outside civil war may make the decision to act based on perceived self-interest in the valuable natural resources which may be found in a civil war-afflicted state. I hypothesize that the type of domestic regime in a potentially interventionist third-party nation will affect when that country decides to militarily intervene in an external civil war. My analysis examines the effect of natural resources (specifically petroleum and coltan) on which type of regime will intervene, given those resources are located in the state experiencing the civil war. In line with my three hypotheses, I find that democracies will intervene more readily in countries which are oil producers and are experiencing a civil war, autocracies will intervene more readily in countries with known oil reserves (but not necessarily homes to oil production), and similarly autocracies are more likely to intervene in coltan-possessing countries in the hope of gaining control over this valuable (and easy to extract) mineral when compared to their more domestic audience-sensitive democratic counterparts. However, the results of the analysis are somewhat modest in terms of substance.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jgpc.v7n2a1