Democracy for the rescue—of dictators? The role of regime type in civil war interventions

Ogen S. Goldmana*, Uriel Abulof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intrastate conflicts, long eclipsing interstate conflicts, are often internationalized. This paper examines internationalized intrastate conflicts through the types of both the intervening and the embattled regimes. Do democracies, more or less than autocracies, support autocratic governments in their fights against rebels? This paper tests three hypotheses: (1) democracies support autocrats fighting rebels less than autocracies do. (2) Democracies support democratic governments fighting against rebels more than autocracies do. (3) The more democratic two states are, the higher the probability one would support the other’s fight against rebels. Covering all documented external support in intrastate wars (1975-2000), our findings support hypothesis one and two only partly and confirm hypothesis three. However, comparing the two major accounts of the Democratic Peace theory (DPT)-the normative and the structural-our findings corroborate only the former robustly. The paper thus helps enriching the insights of the DPT beyond interstate conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-368
Number of pages28
JournalContemporary Security Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Autocracy
  • Civil war
  • Democracy
  • Democratic peace
  • Intervention
  • Support


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