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Title: Multiple Sponsorship of Proxy Groups in Civil Wars
Authors: Ingram, Katherine
Advisors: Ramsay, Kristopher
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: Civil Wars
Proxy Wars
Subjects: Political science
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: My dissertation explores the relationship between states that intervene in civil conflict. Across three papers, I develop a game-theoretic framework for thinking about the role of interstate relationships in sponsorships of proxy fighters. "Competitive Intervention and Sabotage in Civil Wars" asks what causes states to make costly investments in sabotage that undermine their proxies in civil wars. I argue that states use sponsorship to win control over rebel groups and to deny the potential benefits of that control to rival states. Analyzing a contest model that incorporates sabotage, I show that both positive and negative relationships between sponsors can be detrimental to rebel groups. When sponsors are rivals, they engage in sabotage by expending effort to undermine the support of the rival state. At the same time, allied sponsors under-supply their proxies due to free-riding effects. "Choosing Sides and Sapping Rivals through Proxy Warfare" asks how states make decisions about intervening on a particular side in a civil conflict. Specifically, how should a state respond when she sees her rival providing support to one side of a conflict? I contend that a state that wishes to counter her rival has two options: she may attempt to co-opt the rival's proxy or combat the rival's proxy. I model this decision as a team contest between two groups with both inter- and intra-group competition. I find that the most rivalrous states will prefer to co-opt the rival's proxy while states with middling rivalry levels will support opposing sides. My final dissertation paper, "Regional Rivalries and Shifting Allies in the Western Sahara Conflict," argues that small states can strategically induce common agency problems in conflicts by adding themselves as potential sponsors and trapping the involved states into stalemates. I explore this argument by evaluating the failure of negotiations between Algeria and Morocco to resolve the conflict in the Western Sahara. I argue that both states were willing to compromise in the late 1970s. However, Algeria was unable to force Polisario to the bargaining table as the group felt that it could buck Algerian demands by pointing to Libya as a viable alternative sponsor.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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