Theses Doctoral

Window for Peace: Determinants of Third-Party Guarantees in Intrastate Conflict Resolution

Dwyer, Stefanie

The literature on civil war termination has argued that comprehensive peace agreements and third-party guarantees that provide verification, support, or enforcement of agreement implementation contribute to the successful settlement of civil wars. Yet, there is to date no systematic study of the complex process by which guarantees are first given and then fulfilled while accounting for the strategic context within which this process occurs. This dissertation explores how potential guarantors’ perceptions of their own and of the conflict parties’ interests and means influence whether and what type of guarantee they give.
I show that a guarantor’s interests and capacity as well as its expectations of the conflict parties’ commitment problems and preferences affect its decision to give a specific type of guarantee in support of intrastate conflict resolution. In particular, a potential guarantor’s material and structural capacity determines the type of guarantee they are likely to give. In addition, a potential guarantor’s perception that the conflict parties prefer a negotiated settlement over continued fighting increases its expectations of a successful guarantee and thus makes a guarantee more likely.
I test the theoretical hypotheses using statistical analysis, case study research, and in-depth interviews. The dissertation contributes to a better understanding of when and what types of third-party guarantees are given with the aim of supporting the successful implementation of peace agreements to end civil conflict. My findings provide a foundation for subsequent research on the effects of third-party guarantees on the peace process.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science
Thesis Advisors
Fortna, Virginia P.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 24, 2017