Precursors to civil war.

According to a study commissioned by the CIA, there are two highly predictive factors that lead to civil war:rO2

  • Anocracy: A society that is straddling authoritarianism and democracy likely has a government made of weakened institutions and is less able to enforce policy.
  • Identity-based factions: Rather than societal friction stemming mostly from political affiliations, society is focusing on identity such as religion, race, or ethnicity.

Countries ranking highly in these two factors have ~4% risk of breaking into civil war per year, which has a compounding effect over time.

  1. KK Ottesen, “‘They Are Preparing for War’: An Expert on Civil Wars Discusses Where Political Extremists Are Taking This Country,” Washington Post, March 8, 2022, (See notes.)