Unsafe Havens: Re-Examining Humanitarian Aid and Peace Duration after Civil Wars

39 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2016

See all articles by Philip Martin

Philip Martin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Political Science, Students

Nina McMurry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Political Science, Students

Date Written: March 1, 2016

Abstract

Does humanitarian aid delivered in the aftermath of civil conflict increase the risk of conflict resumption? And if so, under what conditions? In contrast to previous work that focuses on the terms of civil war resolution, we argue that humanitarian aid is most likely to play a de-stabilizing role when armed groups have access to territorial safe havens, either inside the country where the fighting has taken place or in cross-border refugee camps. We illustrate this argument with the cases of Liberia (1989-1997) and Sudan (1983-2005), and then test the theory using a panel dataset of civil war ceasefires between 1989 and 2004. Our results support the argument that the effect of humanitarian aid on ceasefire stability is conditional on the ability of rebel organizations to control territory and access cross-border refugee populations.

Suggested Citation

Martin, Philip and McMurry, Nina, Unsafe Havens: Re-Examining Humanitarian Aid and Peace Duration after Civil Wars (March 1, 2016). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2016-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2771303 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2771303

Philip Martin (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/polisci/index.html

Nina McMurry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

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