From Paper to Peace? Compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions in Civil Wars
March 15, 2011
Under which circumstances and why do warring factions comply with third-parties’ demands for the cessation of hostilities, and when do such calls go unheeded? The existing literature on multilateral conflict management and compliance with international regimes does not offer empirical answers to these questions; leaving researchers and policy-makers alike with little guidance on how the multilateral actors can most effectively impact on the behavior of governments and rebel groups engaged in armed conflict. This study aims at closing this lacuna. Based on the current literature on cooperation, compliance, and conflict management, it develops a theory of compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions in civil wars. Using a new dataset coded and compiled for this study at the International Peace Institute, it then tests this theory by analyzing civil-war parties’ compliance with all requests for military de-escalation addressed by the Security Council to factions in twenty-four civil wars between 1989 and 2003, using multilevel MLE models. The paper is the first large-n quantitative analysis of compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions in armed conflict. The paper finds that compliance with Security Council resolutions in civil wars is strongly correlated with the conflict-management ecology and the compliance strategy pursued by the United Nations, and that it is also associated with great-power dynamics in the Security Council and the linkage between the Council’s effort and ongoing peace processes.
Keywords: civil war, intrastate armed conflict, United Nations, United Nations Security Council, global governance, international organizations, conflict management, conflict resolution, sanctions, arms embargoes, peace operations, peacekeeping, peacemaking, peacebuilding, compliance, international law
JEL Classification: D74, D72, D78, K33, K42working papers series
Date posted: March 19, 2011
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