Inclusivity and peacemaking in internal armed conflicts

by Ghais, Suzanne, Ph.D., AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, 2016, 347 pages; 10103345


There is a tension between arguments for the importance of inclusive peace processes and arguments for limiting the number of parties to negotiation. This paper examines two aspects of inclusivity—inclusion of civil society and of armed parties—and their relationship to the achievement of durable settlement of intrastate armed conflicts. Four cases are examined using process-tracing and structured, focused comparison. The inclusive case of Liberia shows that negotiations that involve both civil society and all major armed groups support durable settlement when civil society is strong and unified for peace. The exclusive case of Chad shows how excluding armed groups from peace negotiations creates spoilers. The mixed case of the Philippines-MNLF negotiation shows that where civil society is relatively weak and divided, in-depth civil society consultation had important results but did not overcome the impacts of excluding a major armed group. The mixed case of the subsequent Philippines-MILF negotiation shows how an armed group moderated its stance through the negotiation process and how an extreme group was excluded without detriment to peace. Across cases, the causal processes involved agreement content and public support. Civic groups tend to address public interests and sources of conflict, whereas armed groups tend to negotiate for self-interested gains. Public support or disapproval follows, and civil society may also work directly to build public support. The study offers a better understanding of how and under what circumstances civil society most contributes to peace and the importance of including all major armed parties.

AdviserAnthony C. Wanis-St.@John
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsPeace studies; International relations
Publication Number10103345

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