Can civil war build states? Since the end of World War II, civil war has eclipsed interstate war as the most dominant form of conflict. Yet, although the destructive consequences of civil war are fairly well-documented, we know little about its social and institutional legacies. Some nations have emerged from conflict and embarked on comparatively effective state-building dynamics, while others have been trapped in a vicious cycle of violence and instability. What explains this variation? I argue that two factors jointly determine the nature and magnitude of postwar state-building: the form of war termination and the nature and extent of wartime state-building. Specifically, civil wars that end decisively through military victory create a structural window of opportunity to centralize state power. By marginalizing armed sub-state actors, victory reduces the likelihood of renewed conflict and allows the victor to monopolize the legitimate means of coercion. However, the end of an armed conflict does not signal a radical break from the past. No post-conflict society inherits a �blank slate" upon which a new political order can be erected. I argue that wartime strategies of resource mobilization explain variation in the degree of institutional coherence with which nations emerge from conflict. In the absence of easily extractible resource rents, combatants must generate revenue by taxing the population. Legitimate taxation requires developing institutional capacity and bargaining with society. By contrast, when combatants have access to internally and externally generated resource rents, they have no incentive to bargain with local populations. This variation in wartime institutional residue, I posit, explains variation in the degree of postwar state-building. These claims are tested using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The statistical findings show that military victory contributes to the postwar growth of state institutions, but these effects shrink when combatants can raise wartime revenue by exploiting natural resources. Three additional chapters feature case studies of post-civil war state-building in Angola, Ethiopia and Mozambique that serve to explore the theory's causal claims and provide a rich narrative that deepens the analysis. I conclude the study by addressing the implications of the findings for scholarship and practice.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2015. Major: Political Science. Advisor: Ronald Krebs. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 359 pages.
The Wartime Basis of Postwar Political Development: Civil War Termination, Resource Mobilization, and State-Building.
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