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Negotiation, Mediation and Insurgent Victory in Counter-insurgency Wars Fought by Foreign Powers

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How do negotiation and mediation affect the likelihood of insurgent victory in counterinsurgency (coin) wars? We develop expectations regarding the incentives of the combatants to negotiate and accept mediation while a coin war is under way, and the evolution of these incentives as a war progresses. Thirty nine civil wars are examined in which a foreign power intervenes to defend a central government against an insurgency during the period 1945–2009. We identify the subset of coin wars in which negotiations and mediation were attempted or took place, as well as their timing. The study examines whether the resort to these two instruments affects the subsequent duration and outcome of coin wars. We find that the resort to negotiations and mediation accelerates the time to insurgent victory, and explore reasons why political leaders in foreign powers would pursue such a path given the consequences of such action.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, Colorado State University – Pueblo2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO; 2: Department of Political Science, University of North Texas1155 Union Circle #305340, Denton, TX


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