CONSCRIPTION WITH CONSEQUENCES? Exploring the Effects of Military Personnel Supply Method Choice on Civil War Onset

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning

Abstract: Positing that the characteristics of a state’s military has an effect on civil war outbreak likelihood, this thesis examines a hitherto unexplored relationship —that between military personnel supply method and civil war onset. Based on earlier research on the two phenomena separate from each other, a theory linking conscription to an increased probability of civil war onset compared to voluntary service was developed and an hypothesis derived. A test was then performed by means of several large-n multivariate logistic regression analyses on two sets of country-year level data from 1945 – 1999. Ultimately, the null hypothesis could not be rejected. Results instead indicate that voluntary service might result in a higher probability of civil war onset. This finding is however not statistically significant at the standard level. These findings are of importance for the shaping of military policy, especially in at-risk-of-civil-war countries, and it is strongly suggested that the examined relationship be further investigated in future research.

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