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Uncrossing the Rubicon: Transitions from Violent Civil Conflict to Peace

Ari, Baris (2018) Uncrossing the Rubicon: Transitions from Violent Civil Conflict to Peace. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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What are the impediments to and stimuluses for transitions from violent civil conflict to peace? This dissertation investigates factors that influence civil conflict resolution. There are four key findings. First, democratisation reforms are likely to prompt peace talks with rebel groups. There are costs associated with recognising internal armed challengers as legitimate bargaining partners that deter governments from initiating peace talks. Democratic reform periods provide a window of opportunity for peace negotiations because factors that make institutional reform more likely also encourage peaceful resolution of conflict. The emergence of democratic institu- tions changes the state preferences by increasing the influence of the median citizen vis-`a-vis the authoritarian elite. Second, fragmented conflicts are harder to resolve because they are likely to be over a multidimensional issue space. Multiparty decision making that involves two or more salient issues are likely to have cyclic collective preferences, which render armed conflict a viable instrument for pursuing political goals. Third, involvement of the United Nations (UN) mitigates the adverse impact of conflict fragmentation over peaceful resolution. UN involvement changes the incentives and opportunities of actors to founder a possible bargain. The UN fa- cilitates a path-dependent peace process and brings institutions that induce an equilibrium by overcoming the problems that arise due to cyclic collective preferences. Finally, the military manpower supply system of a state influences its civil conflict processes. How a state recruits rank-and-file members of the military forces is a central institutional arrangement that influences the incentives and opportunities of relevant actors. Compared to all-volunteer forces (AVFs), conscription is an impediment to conflict termination because the cost some individuals incur by being subject to conscription decreases the opportunity cost of rebellion, increases grievances and insulates influential sections of the population from the cost of conflict. As a result, conflict termination becomes less likely.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Baris Ari
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 15:21
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 15:21

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