Political Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jamie Scalera


With the increase in ethnic conflicts since the end of the Cold War, particularly in Africa, more responsibility for conflict intervention has been placed upon regional international organizations (IOs). In this paper, I examine to what extent organizational structure influences how regional international organizations intervene in times of conflict. I argue that regional international organizations should be biased to intervene in ethnic conflict but that institutional design often constrains these organizations. Although the type of violence is a significant factor in the decision-making process, the structure of the organization makes the greatest difference. I test my expectations in the case of the African Union’s intervention in South Sudan since 2013.