Does the regime type of a foreign intervener influence the duration of civil wars? Existing research has shown that third-party support affects the outcome of a conflict. Moreover, studies show that the type of support offered to conflict actors can determine how a war ends. While this research has offered significant implications on conflict dynamics, extant works have overlooked the importance of characteristics of foreign supporters and how their attributes can impact conflict outcomes. Focusing on foreign troop support and quantities, this article examines the relationship between the regime type of a foreign supporter and the outcome of an armed conflict. We argue that regime type of an external troop sponsor can influence war duration based on two dynamics: selection effects and signaling effects. Specifically, troop assistance provided to warring parties by democracies decreases the length of civil wars and increases the likelihood for a one-sided victory for the supported faction. The empirical findings for all intrastate conflicts during the period 1975–2012 provide evidence for our claims that the regime type of an external intervener influences the outcome of a conflict.
This was originally published on SAGE Publications Ltd: Journal of Peace Research: Table of Contents.