Political Science, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Loven, Seth. (2013). Private Soldiers In Africa: A Look At The Effects Of Private Military Contractors And Mercenaries On The Duration Of Civil Wars In Africa From 1960 To 2003. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Political Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Ross Miller. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Seth H. Loven


This thesis examines the effect of private soldiers, both Mercenaries and Private Military Contractors (PMC), on the duration of civil wars in Africa from 1960 to 2003. Linear regression is used to determine if private soldiers increase or decrease the duration of civil wars. Ultimately it is found they have little to no statistical impact. This is contrary to the expectations of the theoretical literature on private military contractors, some of which expects private soldiers to profit from war and seek to lengthen duration, and some of which expects the use of additional private soldiers to shorten the duration of wars. Some discussion is given to examining why no strong statistical results were found, and some directions for future research are proposed.