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Quagmire in Civil War

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Paperback / softback
Quagmire in Civil War by Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl

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Our understanding of civil war is shot through with the spectre of quagmire, a situation that traps belligerents, compounding and entrenching war's dangers. Despite the subject's importance, its causes are obscure. A pervasive 'folk' notion that quagmire is intrinsic to certain countries or wars has foreclosed inquiry, and scholarship has failed to identify quagmire as an object of study in its own right. Schulhofer-Wohl provides the first treatment of quagmire in civil war. In a rigorous but accessible analysis, he explains how quagmire can emerge from domestic-international interactions and strategic choices. To support the argument, Schulhofer-Wohl draws upon field research on Lebanon's sixteen-year civil war, structured comparisons with civil wars in Chad and Yemen, and rigorous statistical analyses of all civil wars worldwide fought between 1944 and 2006. The results make clear that the 'folk' notion misdiagnoses quagmire and demand that we revisit policies that rest upon it. Schulhofer-Wohl demonstrates that quagmire is made, not found.

Author Biography

Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Universiteit Leiden. He has held fellowships at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, New Jersey. Schulhofer-Wohl's research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the Orient-Institut Beirut, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.
Release date NZ
January 9th, 2020
  • Professional & Vocational
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Worked examples or Exercises; 29 Tables, black and white; 7 Maps; 2 Halftones, black and white; 12 Line drawings, black and white
Cambridge University Press
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