Brian Crisher

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jim Butterfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Sybil D. Rhodes

Third Advisor

Dr. Mahendra Lawoti

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This paper views the civil conflicts in African failed states through the lens of game theory. From the numerous peace agreements and cease-fires that have been broken in these conflicts, it is clear that defecting from such agreements,is often more profitable than abiding by them. Why is this so? Furthermore, what can be done to raise the costs of defection and therefore promote cooperation amongst the fighting parties? This paper proposes that the international community has the ability to do just this through one-sided intervention.