Persistent failure? International interventions since World War II

Matt Malis, Pablo Querubin, Shanker Satyanath

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    We analyze the findings of the existing literature on foreign interventions–efforts by one international actor to alter or preserve the structure of political authority within another–which reveal a striking pattern: foreign interventions overwhelmingly fail to achieve their purported objectives. We suggest that the results may be explained by three general phenomena: econometric issues of measurement, sample selection, and endogeneity; theoretical issues regarding assumptions made of the interveners' objectives; or alternatively, a persistent tendency of policy makers to pursue strategies that consistently fail to achieve their objectives. Finally, we offer our assessment of some promising directions for the advancement of the study on foreign interventions. Future research faces both daunting challenges and exciting opportunities in the face of newly available data and empirical methods, as well as the changing nature of intervention itself.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Historical Economics
    Number of pages33
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128158746
    ISBN (Print)9780128162682
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


    • Democracy
    • Foreign intervention
    • International relations

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
    • General Business, Management and Accounting


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