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Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Caruso, Raul

Ed. by Bove, Vincenzo / Kibris, Arzu / Sekeris, Petros


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Volume 19, Issue 2

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Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 4 (1996)

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Volume 1 (1993)

What Fosters Enduring Peace? An Analysis of Factors Influencing Civil War Resolution

Madeleine O. Hosli / Anke Hoekstra
Published Online: 2013-08-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2013-0001

Abstract

In literature on civil war resolution, several factors have been identified that may influence the peace process. In this paper, based on a combination of different datasets and additional information, we explore reasons for the initiation of negotiations and for the shortening of conflict duration based on 82 civil wars that took place between 1944 and 1997. Employing logistic regression, supplemented by graphical explorations, we demonstrate that the existence of a “mutual hurting stalemate” and partial instead of neutral intervention increase the probability that negotiations set in. In addition to this, somewhat counter-intuitively, our analysis shows that a larger number of warring parties – compared to conflicts based on two rival groups – enhance prospects that negotiations are conducted. This may partially be due to the fact that conflicting parties fear they may be excluded from negotiations on a potential settlement and with this, are more ready to engage in the bargaining process. The occurrence of a military stalemate in the course of a conflict, as our analysis based on proportional hazards survival regression demonstrates, shortens war duration. We put forward the idea that partial intervention to support the weaker party can create mutual hurting stalemates, and in this way, contribute to the ending of civil war. Our study partially confirms work in which the ripeness of a conflict or the existence of a mutual hurting stalemate was found to crucially affect prospects for conflict resolution, but also offers new insights into these themes.

Keywords: conflict resolution; negotiations; peace

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About the article

Corresponding author: Madeleine O. Hosli, Department of Political Science, Leiden University, Leiden 2300RB, The Netherlands


Published Online: 2013-08-07

Published in Print: 2013-08-01


According to Bercovitch et al. (1991: 8), mediation is “a process of conflict management where disputants seek the assistance of, or accept an offer of help from an individual, group, state or organization to settle their conflict or resolve their differences without resorting to physical force or invoking the authority of the law”.

On this, also see Fortna (2008).

On this issue and references to the “Wagner hypothesis”, see Licklider (1995). Also see Hoekstra (2008).

For references to an extensive literature on this subject, e.g., see Caruso (2010), footnote 1.

See www.correlatesofwar.org.

According to the COW data set, to constitute a civil war, a conflict had to a) occur within a generally recognized state; b) produce at least one thousand battle deaths per year; c) involve the national government as a participant; and d) experience effective resistance from both the rebels and the government.

For an overview of the conflicts included into our empirical analysis, see table 5 in the appendix to this paper.

Data for this variable are taken from the COW dataset.

In the case of Burundi, where estimates for the number of battle deaths vary between 20,000 and 300,000, the lower estimate was chosen (as taken from the COW Dataset).

Source: http://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/informationGateway.php.

Regional affiliations are taken from http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm.

The variable “strength of third party security guarantees” is dropped since in the analysis, it predicted success perfectly.

The regions distinguished are: Eastern Africa, Middle Africa, Northern Africa, Western Africa, Caribbean, Central America, South America, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, Western Asia, Eastern Europe, and Southern Europe.

The categories are on the basis of Walter (2002).

An analysis using regional affiliation as a predictor, in addition to the other independent variables, does not show significant differences in a comparison of effects across regions.

The effect estimated in model 1, which takes the other explanatory variables into account, is even higher than that (i.e., close to a ratio of 17:1).

Statistical significance is p = 0.004 for the full model specification, and even less than 0.001 for the concise model.


Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 19, Issue 2, Pages 123–155, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, ISSN (Print) 1079-2457, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2013-0001.

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