How Does International Intervention Work to Secure Peace Settlements After Civil Conflicts?
Matanock, Aila M., and Adam G. Lichtenheld. 2022. “How Does International Intervention Work to Secure Peace Settlements after Civil Conflicts?” British Journal of Political Science. First View, pp. 1 - 21.
39 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2017 Last revised: 29 Apr 2022
Date Written: October 20, 2017
There is emerging consensus that international intervention can secure peace by helping combatants resolve commitment problems following civil wars. But how do interveners accomplish this? Some imply that intervention primarily works through military coercion, while others suggest non-military instruments. We build on the existing literature to theorize that interveners commonly condition political, economic, and legal incentives on compliance with peace processes. Despite a rich literature on intervention, scholars have only started to test the underlying instruments. This paper takes a critical step toward this end, examining peacekeeping missions led by the United Nations from 1989-2012. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we show military coercion is neither commonly used nor necessary to ensure peace. Missions that employ conditional incentives—on which we collect original data—are consistently correlated with a reduced risk of conflict recurrence, even when controlling for observed selection effects, and regardless of whether they are also authorized to use military coercion.
Keywords: Civil conflict, intrastate war, peace agreement, settlement, international intervention, peacekeeping, United Nations
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