Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Mingst


Civil wars have become more prevalent in modern times and present unique challenges to conflict resolution. Third parties often intervene in civil wars attempting to insure that peace is imposed and will persist. However, the impact of third parties on intrastate conflicts remains incomplete. The civil conflict literature does not sufficiently distinguish how third parties promote peaceful outcomes during a peacekeeping operation and why a state remains stable after the peacekeepers leave. By examining data on third party interventions from 1946-2006 and individually examining the case of Sierra Leone, this research concludes that peacekeeping missions promoting transparency, credible information sharing, and strong signals of commitment present the best possibilities for peace during and after the mission. Analysis from empirical tests and case study support that peacekeeping missions are most effective when they allow for credible and reliable communication between domestic adversaries. Ultimately, third parties must promote a political solution between rebel and government factions in civil wars so that peaceful methods of dispute resolution are promoted in the absence of a third party preventing the recurrence of war.