Peace Through Security: Making Negotiated Settlements Stick

Monica Toft
Content Type
Working Paper
Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
This paper presents an empirical challenge to the commonlyaccepted wisdom that negotiated settlements are the best way to end civil wars. There are two problems with negotiated settlements. First, negotiated settlements account for only onefifth of all civil war outcomes, thus the bulk of wars and their endings remain largely understudied. Second, wars ended by negotiated settlements are much more likely to recur than those ended by outright military victory. The paper shows that military victories, especially those attained by rebels, are not only more stable, but may help better promote democratization. The author argues that rebel victories are more stable because they employ mechanisms of both harm and benefit to all parties in reconstructing the state. By contrast, negotiated settlements tend to include only mutual benefit, leaving mutual harm mechanisms aside. The implication being that without the possibility of mutual harm, negotiated settlements fail. The paper offers ways to integrate harm mechanisms into these settlements and thereby make them as robust as military victories.
Security, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements