Ending Civil Wars: The Success and Failure of Negotiated Settlements in Civil War

Based on the study of every internationally negotiated civil war settlement between 1980 and 1998, this volume presents the most comprehensive effort to date to evaluate the role of international actors in peace implementation. It looks into promises made by combatants in peace agreements and examines when and why those promises are fulfilled. The authors differentiate between conflicts, showing why Guatemala is not Bosnia, and why strategies that succeed in benign environments fail in more challenging ones. Going beyond attributing implementation failures to a lack of political will, the volume argues that an absence of political will reflects the judgment of major powers of the absence of vital security interests. Overall, the authors emphasize that implementers must tailor their strategies and give priority to certain tasks in implementation, such as demobilizing soldiers and demilitarizing politics, to achieve success.

Ending Wars and Building Peace: International Responses to War-Torn Societies

Scholars and practitioners of international relations have devoted increasing attention to how cease-fires, once achieved, may be translated into sustained peace. In recent years, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the United States and other governments have revamped their institutional architecture for addressing post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. The creation in 2006 of a UN Peacebuilding Commission exemplifies these changes. The relationship between weak states and the durability of peace has acquired new emphasis in IR research. This article analyzes recent conceptual developments in post-conflict peacebuilding, relating them to new thinking about fragile states. It then analyzes the international architecture for addressing post-conflict peacebuilding, identifying gaps, and analyzing likely policy challenges in the near future. We argue that despite important analytic insights and institutional changes, serious challenges persist in efforts to prevent wars from recurring.