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One Dyadic Peace Leads to Another?: Conflict Systems, Terminations, and Net Reduction in Fighting Groups
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5835-0618
2019 (English)In: International Studies Quarterly, ISSN 0020-8833, E-ISSN 1468-2478, article id sqz073Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Governments often fight multiple civil conflicts simultaneously and each conflict can have multiple groups. Prior research on civil war termination and recurrence has been conducted at either the conflict level, once all the groups have been terminated, or the dyadic level, which examines group terminations in a conflict separately as more or less independent processes. Hence, conflict-level studies mostly tell us how to preserve peace once a civil war has already ended, while dyadic studies mostly tell us about the durability of specific group-level terminations within the larger process that led to that ending. As a result, our understanding of how ongoing civil wars are brought to a close is limited, particularly, with respect to multiparty conflicts. In this study, we put forth a systems approach that treats dyadic terminations as connected processes where group terminations influence the future behavior of other groups, incentivizing the system toward greater aggregate peace or conflict. Analyzing 264 dyadic terminations, the findings suggest that the most effective strategy for governments to reduce systemic conflict is to demonstrate to other groups that they have the political will and capacity to implement security, political, and social reforms as part of a larger reform-oriented peace process. Viable implementation can be followed by the concomitant use of military victories against remaining groups with great success. However, military victories achieved in isolation, that is, outside of a reform-process, do not reduce future levels of conflict even if they themselves are durable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. article id sqz073
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396815DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqz073OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396815DiVA, id: diva2:1369146
Available from: 2019-11-11 Created: 2019-11-11 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved

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