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

39 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017 Last revised: 14 Jul 2018

See all articles by Aila M. Matanock

Aila M. Matanock

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

Date Written: May 1, 2018

Abstract

When do settlements to civil conflict bring former combatants into normal politics as political parties? Prior work shows that electoral-participation provisions in settlements correlate with enduring peace; such provisions help 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 no settlements included electoral-participation provisions until the end of the Cold War. Since then, they appear in almost half of all settlements. What explains this pattern? I argue that combatants include electoral participation provisions to engage international actors; through these provisions, international actors can often enforce negotiated deals by monitoring and providing incentives conditioned on combatant compliance. This helps to overcome commitment problems that often prevent peaceful settlements of civil conflicts. An analysis of data on civil conflicts and settlements since 1975, as well as illustrative case evidence, provides support for this argument.

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 (May 1, 2018). 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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