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Considering Concessions: A Survey Experiment on the Colombian Peace Process

20 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2016 Last revised: 4 Mar 2017

Aila M. Matanock

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Natalia Garbiras-Díaz

University of California, Berkeley, Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Designing peace agreements that can be signed and sustained can be difficult in civil conflict.
Many recent cases of successful settlements include electoral provisions, often for the
rebel group to participate as a political party. Engaging the electoral process, however, can also
open the peace process to the population at large, potentially derailing a settlement or some of
its provisions. In this paper, we examine popular support for the transformation from bullets to
ballots, testing whether average citizens object to providing former rebels with the protections,
legitimacy, and power of these settlement provisions. Using a survey experiment during the
Colombian peace process between the Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de
Colombia (FARC), we find that the peace process as a whole is more popular than its electoral
provisions, and we find that endorsement of the provisions by the FARC further diminishes
support. These findings are important to understanding how to design settlements, providing
policy implications for peace processes, and even potentially contributing to an explanation of
why Colombia’s 2016 plebiscite on its peace agreement failed.

Keywords: Colombia, FARC, Peace Process, Post-Conflict Elections, Public Support, Survey Experiment

Suggested Citation

Matanock, Aila M. and Garbiras-Díaz, Natalia, Considering Concessions: A Survey Experiment on the Colombian Peace Process (2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2822599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2822599

Aila M. Matanock (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Natalia Garbiras-Díaz

University of California, Berkeley, Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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