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Reputation and Civil War
Why Separatist Conflicts Are So Violent

AUD$130.95 inc GST

  • Date Published: August 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521763523

AUD$ 130.95 inc GST

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About the Authors
  • Of all the different types of civil war, disputes over self-determination are the most likely to escalate into war and resist compromise settlement. Reputation and Civil War argues that this low rate of negotiation is the result of reputation building, in which governments refuse to negotiate with early challengers in order to discourage others from making more costly demands in the future. Jakarta's wars against East Timor and Aceh, for example, were not designed to maintain sovereignty but to signal to Indonesia's other minorities that secession would be costly. Employing data from three different sources - laboratory experiments on undergraduates, statistical analysis of data on self-determination movements, and qualitative analyses of recent history in Indonesia and the Philippines - Barbara F. Walter provides some of the first systematic evidence that reputation strongly influences behavior, particularly between governments and ethnic minorities fighting over territory.

    • Civil wars are one of the main research topics in international relations and comparative politics
    • This book examines the most common cause of civil wars - demands for self-determination
    • Includes a variety of different methods: laboratory experiments, statistical analysis of data on self-determination movements, and qualitative analyses of recent history in Indonesia and the Philippines
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Walter shows that much of the answer lies in whether a state is faced with multiple potential challenges and therefore has to defend its reputation for holding firm. Rarely has such an important puzzle been so well explained.' Robert Jervis, Columbia University

    'Barbara Walter strikes again! Her first book altered our thinking and our policies about civil war termination, showing that separating armies in civil wars incurs commitment problems that make these wars more difficult to end than interstate wars. This book, her second major work on civil wars, is equally stunning. Relying on theory, case studies, statistical and experimental analysis, it shows how reputation problems lead highly fragmented states to be more bellicose in the face of separatist rebellion that less fragmented states. Once again, Walter's work will impress academics and reframe public policy.' David D. Laitin, Stanford University

    '… Barbara Walter makes an important contribution to debates in international relations as well as to the study of civil war.' Robert O. Keohane, Princeton University

    '… the value of this book is the recognition of the importance of including future parties and future stakes in the models of bargaining and civil war. … [It] … provides an excellent study showing that when governments are facing movements seeking autonomy, they make strategic decision and invest in reputation-building.' International Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521763523
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 2 maps 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Theory:
    1. Introduction
    2. Reputation building and self-determination movements
    Part II. Empirical tests:
    3. An experimental study of reputation building and deterrence
    4. Government responses to self-determination movements
    5. Ethnic groups and the decision to seek self-determination
    Part III. Case studies:
    6. Indonesia: many ethnic groups, few demands
    7. The Philippines: few ethnic groups, many demands
    Part IV. Conclusions:
    8. Reputation building and deterrence in civil wars.

  • Author

    Barbara F. Walter, University of California, San Diego
    Barbara F. Walter is Professor of Political Science in the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Committing to Peace: The Successful Settlement of Civil Wars (2001), and co-editor of Territoriality and Conflict in an Era of Globalization (Cambridge, 2006) and Civil Wars, Insecurity and Intervention (1999).

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