Why Did Certain Civil Wars During the Interwar Period have External Play Involvement?

Open Access
Senior, Matthew Henry
Area of Honors:
International Politics
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Douglas William Lemke, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Honors Advisor
  • Political Science
  • Civil Wars
  • External Players
  • Interwar Period
This paper looks at civil wars during the interwar period (1917-1939). Specifically why certain conflicts during the period had third party intervention. This is explained with the creation of three hypotheses that look at three factors as potential reasons why there was external player involvement in only certain civil wars. The first factor that I looked at was important regions (China and Europe), and how in important regions civil wars were more likely to have external intervention. The second factor was that civil wars are more likely to have external player involvement from external players that have certain political ideologies such as communism, militarism, and fascism. And the third factor was that civil wars are more likely to have external involvement at beginning and end of the interwar period. Three tables were used to test these hypotheses, and in the end there was at least mild support for each of the hypotheses. The end result of this paper shows why most of the literature on civil wars especially involving external involvement starts the data with civil wars beginning in 1945, as most of the applications of the three hypotheses are focused on cases of civil wars during the interwar period.