Neat divisions between domestic strife and international war seem to no longer apply in today’s conflicts. The author notes that “there is frequently nothing ‘domestic’ about a civil war, and conflicts within countries often give rise to tensions between them.” Conflicts in Rwanda, Turkey, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Sudan underscore the transnational character of supposedly internal struggles. The relationships between civil wars and foreign sponsors of the conflict is an understudied area in international relations. Salehyan explores whether or not such foreign sponsors can help explain why any group would undertake an endeavor as risky as rebelling.
About the author: Idean Salehyan is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas. He is also a research associate at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, Southern Methodist University, and at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo.