Ending Civil Wars


-         Victory v. negotiated settlement

o       Victory is more common

-         Difficult to achieve stable settlement without third-party guarantor (Walter, 1997)

o       Hard to find able and willing guarantor

§        1958 Lebanon settlement had 14,000 US troops present briefly (peace lasts until 1975)

§        1989 Nicaraguan settlement had 260 OAS observers and 800 Venezuelan paratroopers

§        1979 Zimbabwe agreement had 1200 Commonwealth troops

o       Guarantor must be willing to use force

§        But El Salvador UN missions 1991-95 succeeded w/out much force available (368 observers; 315 police)


What peace agreements last? (Hartzell, et al 2001)

-         prior regime was democratic

-         long war at low intensity

-         territorial autonomy for threatened groups

-         third-party guarantee


Should partition be favored over settlement? (Sambanis, 2000)

-         Pro-partition view

o       enables postwar democratization

o       Prevents renewed war (v. ineffective settlement)

o       Reduces residual ethnic violence

-         Anti-partition view

o       Partition in one state may encourage violent secession elsewhere

o       Successor states are not homogenous

o       Ethnic diffusion will reinforce cooperation

-         Debate over partition as agreement v. secession as unilateral action of seceding state

-         Statistical study

o       Partition is more likely after costly ‘identity wars,’ after rebel victory or truce, and in countries with above-average socio-economic conditions

o       Partitioned states are as democratic or more so than non-partitioned ones

o       War recurrence is no more or less likely in partition than not

§        Longer war makes peace more likely, but costlier war makes it less likely

§        Treaties produce more stable agreements than truces

o       Negligible effect under most conditions, but helpful under some conditions