Do domestic and international political conflict intersect? Of course they do, but how that intersection occurs is not yet well understood. Thyne's book, How International Relations Affect Civil Conflict
, establishes an important relationship: the onset, duration, and outcomes of civil wars are strongly influenced by states' and rebels' expectations about the likely intervention of other countries. Relying on evidence that ranges from historical accounts of specific cases to the average effects gleaned from sophisticated large-N analyses, Thyne finds considerable empirical support for his hypotheses. This work considerably advances out understanding of civil wars, and it also serves as an excellent example of the leverage gained from a combination of careful theoretical and empirical work. (Will H. Moore, Florida State University)
Thyne’s book is an insightful application of bargaining theory that illuminates how external actors can affect the risk of civil conflict. Thyne argues that costly signals by other states towards a country at risk of civil war—contrary to common belief—are likely to be less relevant than weak signals. Whereas costly signals are unlikely to provide any new information that may alter existing demands and expectations in the interaction between antagonists, cheap signals can have an important influence on political stability and the risk of civil war. This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in how international factors may affect civil war onset and duration. (Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, University of Essex)
About the Author
Clayton L. Thyne
is assistant professor of political science at University of Kentucky.