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An Introduction to Civil Wars

An Introduction to Civil Wars

October 2014 | 312 pages | CQ Press
There are currently more than 30 active civil wars worldwide. An Introduction to Civil Wars provides a comprehensive overview of the civil wars that have taken place globally since World War II. The text opens with a discussion of the human and economic costs of civil war, and then systematically examines all aspects of civil wars: civil war patterns, types, and causes; the effect of natural resources; conflict duration, outcomes, and termination; peace agreements; counterinsurgency; terrorism; international intervention; and post-conflict issues. Author Karl DeRouen, Jr. draws on the latest empirical research and major theoretical debates and connects them to extended case studies of current conflict. Pedagogical features -- tables, figures, maps, photos, a comprehensive bibliography, lists of suggested readings, and an Appendix listing all civil wars since 1946 -- make the book an especially useful research tool for undergraduates and graduate students in political science and public policy.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Theme of the Book  
The Basics of Civil War  
Civil War Onset  
The Duration of Civil Wars  
Outcome and Termination of Civil Wars  
Civil War Recurrence  
Civil War Patterns  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 2: Costs of Civil War
Economic Costs  
Crime and Violence  
Conflict Management Implications  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 3: Civil War Dynamics
Civil War Types and Trends  
Civil War Tactics  
Conflict Management Implications  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 4: What Causes Civil War?
Approaches to Civil War Onset  
Ethno-Religious Civil War  
Conflict Management Implications  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 5: Natural Resources and Civil War
Natural Resources and the Resource Curse  
Resources and Conflict  
Oil, Diamonds, Illicit Drugs, and Timber  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 6: The Termination of Civil War and Post-Conflict Issues
Types and Trends in Civil War Outcomes  
Types of Peace Agreements  
Post-Conflict Issues  
Implications for Conflict Management  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 7: International Intervention
Types of International Interventions  
Peace Agreements and Military Provisions  
Humanitarian Law  
Implications for Conflict Management  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 8: Terrorism and Civil War
What is Terrorism?  
Incidence of Terrorism  
Tactics, Targets, and Means  
Terrorism During Civil War  
Causes of Terrorism  
Characteristics and Structure of Terrorist Groups  
Islam, Civil War, and Terrorism  
Conflict Termination and Terrorist Spoilers  
Case Studies  
Implications for Conflict Management  
Suggested Reading  
Chapter 9: Conclusion
Civil War Costs and Trends  
Overview of Conclusions and Policy Implications  
Final Word  
Key features


  • All major topics are covered in this single, accessible volume including comprehensive coverage of topics drawing on key empirical and theoretical scholarship.
  • In every chapter, the book’s conflict management theme connects the topic at hand with the set of tools that are designed to help resolve conflict, linking researcher and practitioner audiences.
  • Up-to-date coverage of current civil wars, including the latest from Syria, Ukraine, Colombia, and more.
  • Select case studies and extended examples throughout the text provide real-world perspective.
  • Two unique and timely chapters dedicated to coverage of terrorism in civil war and the effect of natural resources.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 6

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