Inviting Intervention



Aila Matanock, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

Date and Time

April 19, 2018 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



Open to the public.

RSVP required by 5PM April 18.


Goldman Conference Room4th Floor East Wing E409, Encina Hall, 616 Serra Street, Stanford, California 94305,


Foreign intervention sometimes enters by domestic invitation. Recently, the Malian government asked international actors to send troops to help stabilize and strengthen its rule of law, specifically as it faltered after the country’s coup. In this case, explanations for the intervention by invitation tend to revolve around the relative strength of the government, which was weak compared to the somewhat sophisticated militants that opposed it. Such an explanation, however, is unlikely shed much light on the situation since there are many weak governments with faltering or failing rule of law that do not request or receive such governance assistance, at least as far as reporting on these cases suggests. As the United States and its allies withdraw from the major conflicts of the past decade, the focus of international intervention in conflict and post-conflict contexts is likely to occur in cooperation with host states. This project examines an important set of arrangements for weak states: it identifies and explains when states invite other states to intervene for governance assistance—agreements between sovereign entities—specifically with regard to the security sector. These illustrations and tests draw on new quantitative and qualitative data.


Speaker Bio:

Aila M. Matanock is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research addresses the ways in which international actors engage in conflicted and weak states. She uses case studies, survey experiments, and cross-national data in this work. She has conducted fieldwork in Colombia, Central America, the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere. She has received funding for these projects from many sources, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Minerva Research Initiative, the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism (START), and the Center for Global Development (CGD). Her 2017 book, Electing Peace: From Civil Conflict to Political Participation, was published by Cambridge University Press. It is based on her dissertation research at Stanford University, which won the 2013 Helen Dwight Reid award from the American Political Science Association. Her work has also been published by Governance, International Security, the Journal of Politics, and elsewhere. She has worked at the RAND Corporation before graduate school, and she has held fellowships at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at UCSD since. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and her A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University.

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