A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly united nation state.
The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change government policies.
Civil wars since the end of World War II have lasted on average just over four years, a dramatic rise from the one-and-a-half year average of the 1900-1944 period. While the rate of emergence of new civil wars has been relatively steady since the mid-19th century, the increasing length of those wars resulted in increasing numbers of wars ongoing at any one time. For example, ...view middle of the document...
That the Party in revolt against the de jure Government possesses an organized military force, an authority responsible for its acts, acting within a determinate territory and having the means of respecting and ensuring respect for the Convention.
That the legal Government is obliged to have recourse to the regular military forces against insurgents organized as military and in possession of a part of the national territory.
That the de jure Government has recognized the insurgents as belligerents; or
That it has claimed for itself the rights of a belligerent; or
That it has accorded the insurgents recognition as belligerents for the purposes only of the present Convention; or
That the dispute has been admitted to the agenda of the Security
Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations as being a
threat to international peace, a breach of the peace, or an act
That the insurgents have an organization purporting to have the
characteristics of a State.
That the insurgent civil authority exercises de facto authority
over the population within a determinate portion of the national
That the armed forces act under the direction of an organized
authority and are prepared to observe the ordinary laws of war.
That the insurgent civil authority agrees to be bound by the
provisions of the Convention.
Causes of civil war in the Collier-Hoeffler Model
Scholars investigating the cause of civil war are attracted by two opposing theories, greed versus grievance. Roughly stated: are conflicts caused by who people are, whether that be defined in terms of ethnicity, religion or other social affiliation, or do conflicts begin because it is in the economic best interests of individuals and groups to start them? Scholarly analysis supports the conclusion that economic and structural factors are more important than those of identity in predicting occurrences of civil war.
A comprehensive studies of civil war was carried out by a team from the World Bank in the early 21st century. The study framework, which came to be called the Collier-Hoeffler Model, examined 78 five-year increments when civil war occurred from 1960 to 1999, as well as 1,167 five-year increments of "no civil war" for comparison, and subjected the data set to regression analysis to see the effect of various factors. The factors that were shown to have a statistically significant effect on the chance that a civil war would occur in any given five-year period were:
Availability of finance
A high proportion of primary commodities in national exports significantly increases the risk of a conflict. A country at "peak danger", with commodities comprising 32% of gross domestic product, has a 22% risk of falling into civil war in a given five-year period, while a country with no primary commodity exports has a 1% risk. When disaggregated, only petroleum and non-petroleum groupings showed different results: a country with relatively low levels of...