External Engagement: Explaining the Spread of Electoral Participation Provisions in Civil Conflict Settlements
38 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017
Date Written: November 2016
When do civil conflict settlements seek to formally bring former combatants into electoral politics as political parties? Prior work has shown these electoral participation provisions to be correlated with enduring peace, helping to end some of the longest and deadliest civil conflicts. But they are not always included in negotiated settlements. This paper presents original data showing that these provisions were non-existent until the end of the Cold War and that, even afterward, they have been included fewer than half of all settlements to civil conflicts. The empirical patterns suggest that international dynamics may play a role in explaining variation in these electoral participation provisions. Aside from presenting these new data and showing this external dimension, this paper generates an explanation for this variation over time and across countries, emphasizing international influence on settlement design, and then evaluates whether the patterns predicted by this explanation are consistent with empirical evidence. Analyzing data on all civil conflicts and settlements since 1975, as well as illustrative case evidence, this paper finds the most support for an engagement explanation: specifically, these electoral participation provisions enable international actors to enforce negotiated deals using monitoring and conditional incentives to incentivize compliance by both sides.
Keywords: Settlements, Peace Agreements, Civil Conflict, Civil War, Post-Conflict Elections, Electoral Participation Provisions, Rebel Participation, Rebel Parties, Guatemala
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