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An Introduction to Civil Wars

An Introduction to Civil Wars

First Edition

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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