Nikitin M. E.

Main Page ~ Authors ~ Nikitin M. E.
  • № 2, 2023

    • Military Experience of State Leaders and Conflict Potential of Authoritarian Regimes (Case of Africa)

      In the last decade, the International Political Science has witnessed an emergent trend to put an individual back to the focus of research. A growing number of researchers acknowledge that in order to understand the behavior of the state, it is necessary to take into account attitudes and behavior of state leaders. They assume that such a view angle will help to defy a cliché perception, according to which conflict situations arise solely due to the influence of exogenous factors, and if a certain event occurred, it only happened because it was determined by the external environment.

      The article attempts to analyze the influence of the military experience of state leaders on their countries’ participation in armed conflicts using the case of the authoritarian regimes in Africa. Employing the method of regression analysis, the author traces how the past military experience is reflected in the proneness of a state leader to conflict actions in the foreign policy sphere. He focuses on three types of such experience: (1) military service without participation in military actions (mainly staff work); (2) personal participation in military actions; (3) participation in rebel formations.

      The conducted research proves that military experience has a significant and robust influence on the subsequent behavior of leaders. If a state leader used to serve in the military as a staff group member, the probability that he will initiate an armed conflict is 2.7 times higher than in the absence of such experience. Participation in rebel groups increases the likelihood of initiating military actions as well. In contrast, combat experience in the military has the opposite effect: leaders with combat experience are only half as likely to initiate military conflicts as leaders who have not been to the battlefield.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-109-2-37-54

      Pages: 37-54