Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2019

Department 1

Political Science


I argue that a strong civil society suggests the existence of institutions that provide alternate mechanisms to reduce grievance as well as opportunities for public problem solving, which, in turn, should result in a decreased probability of civil war onset as well as decreased civil war incidence (a proxy for civil war duration). Controlling for per capita GDP, ethnic fractionalization, regime type, and population -- the measures that tend to have the strongest association with civil war onset and incidence -- I find that the presence of strong civil society does, indeed, have a negative and statistically significant association with probability of civil war incidence, though not (at the 95% confidence level) with civil war onset. Nevertheless, insofar as civil society can emerge absent broader societal changes such as the expansion of economic opportunity, this research has broad policy implications for governments and international organizations seeking to alleviate the tolls of war.


Written for POL 303: Civil Wars & Political Violence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.