Project

Civil Wars, Violence, and International Responses

Overview

The current decade has witnessed the dramatic resurgence of civil wars and the devastating humanitarian consequences they inflict on vulnerable people, societies, and states. With over 10 million people starving and 3 million seeking asylum and protection overseas, Yemen and Syria stand as powerful reminders of the obsolescence and inadequacy of the current international approach to conflict management and resolution.

Drawing on the Academy’s convening power across disciplines, the initiative has two broad goals:

  • To examine the trans-national security threats emanating from civil wars and weak states, and
  • To identify policy options for mitigating these threats and for addressing civil wars where US national security interests are at stake.

Read more about civil wars, and the policy questions driving the project

Main findings and policy implications

Learn more about the Civil Wars, Violence, and International Responses Project from project contributors

 

People

People

Project Chairs

Karl W. Eikenberry

U.S.-Asia Security Initiative, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
Academy Member
Members
Staff

Francesca Giovannini

American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Program Director for Global Security and International Affairs

Kathryn Moffat

American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Program Officer for Global Security and International Affairs
Publications

Publications

News & Updates

News & Updates

Events

Events

Project Outcomes

Project Outcomes

This project produced a two-volume Special Issue of the Academy’s journal Dædalus. The first volume, published in Fall 2017, focused on empirical evidence, explanatory frameworks, and identifying the threats that emanate from civil wars and weak states. The second volume focused on international responses and policy options and was published in Winter 2018. Still, there remain important questions about threats to U.S. interests and world order posed by the breakdown of state control and civil wars, including terrorism (and the employment of WMD), the spread of conflicts fueled by the involvement of outside powers, destabilizing refugee flows, and pandemics. In the current political environment, these are issues of interest to a broad audience, both domestic and international. Drawing on the Academy’s convening power across disciplines, this project seeks not only to contribute to current policy-making but also to contextualize current trends by building a larger conceptual understanding of the threats posed by the collapse of state authority associated with civil wars.

Throughout the past two years the Academy project team has engaged with a wide range of scholar and policy communities, including the UN, to discuss the main findings of the project, in order to inform policymaking processes.

Read more about project outcomes, outreach, and activities