International system and technologies of rebellion: How the end of the cold war shaped internal conflict

Published

Journal Article

Because they are chiefly domestic conflicts, civil wars have been studied primarily from a perspective stressing domestic factors. We ask, instead, whether (and how) the international system shapes civil wars; we find that it does shape the way in which they are foughttheir technology of rebellion. After disaggregating civil wars into irregular wars (or insurgencies), conventional wars, and symmetric nonconventional wars, we report a striking decline of irregular wars following the end of the Cold War, a remarkable transformation of internal conflict. Our analysis brings the international system back into the study of internal conflict. It specifies the connection between system polarity and the Cold War on the one hand and domestic warfare on the other hand. It also demonstrates that irregular war is not the paradigmatic mode of civil war as widely believed, but rather is closely associated with the structural characteristics of the Cold War. © 2010 American Political Science Association.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Kalyvas, SN; Balcells, L

Published Date

  • August 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 104 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 415 - 429

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5943

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0554

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S0003055410000286

Citation Source

  • Scopus