The External Intervention Indicator considers the influence and impact of external actors in the functioning – particularly security and economic – of a state. On the one hand, External Intervention focuses on security aspects of engagement from external actors, both covert and overt, in the internal affairs of a state at risk by governments, armies, intelligence services, identity groups, or other entities that may affect the balance of power (or resolution of a conflict) within a state. On the other hand, External Intervention also focuses on economic engagement by outside actors, including multilateral organizations, through large-scale loans, development projects, or foreign aid, such as ongoing budget support, control of finances, or management of the state’s economic policy, creating economic dependency. External Intervention also takes into account humanitarian intervention, such as the deployment of an international peacekeeping mission.

Questions to consider may include*:

Political Intervention

  • External Support for Factions: Is there external support for factions opposed to the government?

Force Intervention

  • Presence of Foreign Troops: Are foreign troops present?
  • Military Attacks Across Borders: Are military attacks from other countries occurring?
  • Military Assistance: Is there external military assistance?
  • Military Training: Are there military training exercises with other nations or support of military training from other states?
  • Peacekeeping: Is there a peacekeeping operation on the ground?
  • Training of Police: Is there external support for police training?
  • Covert Intervention: Are covert operations taking place?

Economic Intervention

  • Economic Intervention or Aid: Is the country receiving economic aid?
  • Dependency on Aid: Is the country dependent on economic aid?


* Indicator descriptions are not exhaustive, and are intended only as an entry point for further interpretive analysis by the user.