Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Peter Van Arsdale, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Douglas Allen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Timothy Sisk


Autocracies, Benevolent dictatorships, Dictatorships, Military engagement, Post-conflict governance


This paper examines the question, "How can the US best engage authoritarian governments in Africa militarily, in order to facilitate more positive outcomes for that country's citizens?" In order to answer this, it is necessary to examine the presumption that authoritarian governments do not promote positive outcomes for their constituents. If this is not the case, then it may be possible to use different, non-traditional means in order to identify positive performance indicators. This can lead to a more holistic assessment, and allow the US to leverage the resources of the military to further promote these outcomes.

In this thesis, I argue that if it is possible for an authoritarian government to facilitate positive outcomes for its people, it may be possible to craft a military engagement plan so that the US military can help continue this cycle. The benefits of a well-crafted engagement plan can improve the lives of that country's citizens, and improve governance by its leaders. For the everyday people in these countries, the consequences of a poorly-crafted plan could hardly be worse.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Shawn P. Russell


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

176 p.


International relations, Sub Saharan Africa studies, Military studies