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Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Prof. Adam Grossberg


Of the 79 countries that experienced civil wars (1944-2008,) only 33 had one, and only one, civil war. If civil war recurrence is the norm rather than the exception, there is an apparent postwar reconstruction problem. To address this problem, this study asks “how long does post war peace last?” and “what are the determinants of civil war recurrence?” Using survival analysis on an originally extended dataset of civil wars (1944-2008,) this study expands the scope of a small number of previous studies done on recurrence and gives the most updated findings. The analysis suggests that per capita income growth, the presence of UN peacekeepers, countries that experienced territorial wars, and peace settlements over time reduce the risk of recurrence and foster a more enduring peace. But, if the country’s previous war was fought on ethnic lines and was highly violent, the risk of recurrence increased, decreasing the durability of peace. Significant factors from previous studies of risk reduction, the type of regime and if the previous war ended in a victory, were insignificant in this study. This study prescribes peace settlements with UN peacekeeping forces acting as third-party enforcers of peace together with high per capita GDP growth.


Senior Thesis complete at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science. Full-text access is restricted to the Trinity Campus community.