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Intervention by Invitation: Why States Ask for Help

Facing domestic unrest, leaders have two options: handle it on your own or ask for external help

The project is funded by the Swedish Scientific Council, 2018-2020.

When does a state allow external military intervention in its domestic affairs? Previous research either takes this request for granted or assumes that support is provided independent of government approval.

In this project we aim to explore the conditions under which states ask for help during periods of political unrest and to whom they turn for assistance. We argue that threat constructions, state capacity and international networks are likely to influence governments’ willingness to extend invitations. We create a systematic dataset of invitation requests in the post-Cold War period, which allows us to assess general patterns of this phenomenon.

We also conduct process tracing in six cases (Mali, Bahrain, Yemen, Comoros, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands), which highlight the causal chain leading up to intervention requests and the linkages between our hypothesized factors.

Researchers in the project

  • Roxanna Sjöstedt, Project leader
  • Niklas Karlén, Project collaborator
    Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University
    E-post: niklas [dot] karlen [at] pcr [dot] uu [dot] se