External Engagement: Explaining the Spread of Electoral Participation Provisions in Civil Conflict Settlements

37 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017 Last revised: 4 Mar 2018

Aila M. Matanock

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

Date Written: November 1, 2016

Abstract

When do settlements to civil conflict bring former combatants into normal politics as
political parties? Prior work has shown these electoral participation provisions to be correlated
with enduring peace, helping end some of the longest and deadliest civil conflicts. But they are
not always included in negotiated settlements. This article presents original data showing that
these provisions were non-existent until the end of the Cold War and that, since then, they have
been included fewer than half of all settlements. Why were they adopted only after the Cold war,
and then selectively? Aside from presenting new data that suggest an external dimension to
domestic elections, this article provides an explanation for this variation over time and across
countries, and it evaluates whether the patterns predicted by this explanation are consistent with
empirical evidence. Analyzing data on civil conflicts and settlements since 1975, and drawing on
illustrative case evidence, this article finds combatants include electoral participation provisions
to engage international actors; through these provisions, international actors can often enforce
negotiated deals by monitoring and providing incentive conditions on combatant compliance,
overcoming commitment problems.

Keywords: Settlements, Peace Agreements, Civil Conflict, Civil War, Post-Conflict Elections, Electoral Participation Provisions, Rebel Participation, Rebel Parties, Guatemala

Suggested Citation

Matanock, Aila M., External Engagement: Explaining the Spread of Electoral Participation Provisions in Civil Conflict Settlements (November 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2927320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2927320

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

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