Greed not Grievance is the True Cause of Civil Wars

Although there is a lack of common agreement regarding the exact causes of a civil war, it is nevertheless emphasized that the potential of civil war becomes less if a state has the capacity to maintain peace. A strong state has powers to exert control over citizens by positively addressing their grievances. On the other hand, a weak state can have inefficient bureaucratic power and lack of political and military strength. Such inefficiencies and weaknesses make it difficult to implement laws and regulations in order to maintain peace in the region. Therefore, a weak state has the possibility to create conditions to induce grievances among citizens. The state also experiences various challenges in discouraging and restraining dissent within citizens thus laying the foundation for potential civil unrests leading to a civil war. Other factors that affect a civil war can be economic disparities between different regions or between different social groups, class and religious frictions, government policies and international trade.Civil war has been defined as an internal conflict where there have been at least 1,000 combat-related deaths per annum and where both government forces and an identifiable rebel organization have suffered at least five percent of the fatalities (Nathan, 2008, p.263). The prevalence of civil wars in the form of widespread violence has become a matter of international concern, and therefore researchers focus on what makes countries prone to civil wars. This is one of the major issues for foreign policy leaders. Although at the beginning of the twenty-first century several violent civil conflicts ended, there still existed 30 internal armed conflicts in 24 places in 2002. Among these conflicts, 15 existed in Sub-Saharan Africa while 5 existed in Asia. During the second half of the twentieth century, there existed 127 civil wars among which 40 occurred in Sub-Saharan Asia while 30 took place in Asia.