From grievances to civil war: The impact of geopolitics

Faisal Z. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


I revisit claims that the Cold War had no meaningful effect on civil war after 1990 by probing its empirical veracity. I argue and employ a Bartik-style difference-in-differences identification strategy to show that countries with greater political grievances during the Cold War were more likely to experience civil war after the Cold War. I provide evidence suggesting that changes in the credibility of external support to both governments and rebels affected this uptick in conflict onset in aggrieved countries. These findings suggest the confluence of geopolitics and preexisting grievances played a causal role in civil war after the Cold War.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-451
Number of pages25
JournalReview of International Organizations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Causal inference
  • Civil war
  • Cold War
  • Difference-in-differences
  • Geopolitics
  • Grievances


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