Strengthening Peace in Post-Civil War States Transforming Spoilers into Stakeholders
edited by Matthew Hoddie and Caroline A. Hartzell
University of Chicago Press, 2010
Cloth: 978-0-226-35124-7 | Paper: 978-0-226-35125-4 | Electronic: 978-0-226-35126-1


Among the more frequent and most devastating of conflicts, civil wars—from Yugoslavia to Congo—frequently reignite and even spill over into the international sphere. Given the inherent fragility of civil war peace agreements, innovative approaches must be taken to ensure the successful resolution of these conflicts. Strengthening Peace in Post­–Civil War States provides both analytical frameworks and a series of critical case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of a range of strategies for keeping the peace.

Coeditors Matthew Hoddie and Caroline A. Hartzell here contend that lasting peace relies on aligning the self-interest of individuals and communities with the society-wide goal of ending war; if citizens and groups have a stake in peace, they will seek to maintain and defend it. The rest of the contributors explore two complementary approaches toward achieving this goal: restructuring domestic institutions and soft intervention. Some essays examine the first tactic, which involves reforming governments that failed to prevent war, while others discuss the second, an umbrella term for a number of non-military strategies for outside actors to assist in keeping the peace.


Matthew Hoddie is assistant professor of political science at Towson University. Caroline A. Hartzell is professor of political science at Gettysburg College. Together they are coauthors of Crafting Peace: Power-Sharing Institutions and the Negotiated Settlement of Civil Wars.


“The scholarship on display in Strengthening Peace in Post­–Civil War States is impeccable, the data are sound, and the ideas are even better. The essays are well-written and clearly expressed, communicating concepts without jargon. The book broadens and deepens our consideration of the postconflict state-building process, taking an authoritative angle on a hot debate over a topic of core significance.”— I. William Zartman, Johns Hopkins University

“Building peace after civil wars end is one of the crucial security concerns of the day: the topic holds relevance for issues from economic growth to terrorism. This cohesive collection brings together some of the leaders in the field of civil war research, and the book's framework provides a model that should be emulated by others. The contributors’ scholarship is sound, using case studies and examples that ground their conclusions in reality and practice, and the organization of the book is innovative, rigorous, and interesting.”— Karl DeRouen Jr., University of Alabama



- Matthew Hoddie, Caroline A. Hartzell
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0001
[civil wars, peacekeeping, peacekeepers, restructuring institutions, soft intervention, stability]
This introductory chapter first sets out the book's main argument—that the successful resolution of civil wars requires more than the efforts of peacekeepers to end the fighting. Success also depends on fostering a sense within the postwar population that peace will serve the individual interests of citizens. The chapter then discusses one of the central challenges confronting post-civil war states: individuals and groups who act as opponents of an emerging peace with the intention of reinitiating hostilities. Next it considers the value of peacekeepers as a means of dealing with these enemies to stability. While the introduction of peacekeepers is the most frequently advocated solution to the challenges confronting countries emerging from war, peacekeepers have a mixed record of success in creating effective incentives for local actors to support the incipient peace. The subsequent two sections explore the tactics of restructuring institutions and soft intervention that form the focus of this volume. It examines how these strategies serve to discourage those opposed to the peace and create new stakeholders in stability. (pages 1 - 23)
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Part I: Restructuring Institutions

- David A. Lake
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0002
[state-building, legitimacy, stakeholders, social contract theories, social order]
The current model of state-building employed by the international community has been roundly criticized. Importantly, it implicitly rests on a formal-legal conception of legitimacy in which law or institutions confer authority on individuals, who then employ that authority to create a social order. This chapter develops an alternative, relational conception of legitimacy drawn from social contract theories of the state. In this approach, authority derives from a mutually beneficial contract in which the ruler provides a social order of benefit to the ruled, and the ruled in turn comply with the extractions (e.g., taxes) and constraints on their behavior (e.g., law) that are necessary to the production of that order. The contract becomes self-enforcing—or legitimate—when individuals and groups become vested in that social order by undertaking investments specific to the particular contract, in short, when they become stakeholders to the peace. In this way, legitimacy follows from social order, not the other way around as in the current model. (pages 29 - 50)
This chapter is available at:
    University Press Scholarship Online

- Philip G. Roeder
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0003
[peace, civil society, stakeholders, interests]
This chapter argues that premature efforts to grow civil society may also make the peace more fragile. In particular, when the state is not yet reconstituted as a unified authoritative institution, but is cobbled together after a cease-fire as de facto jurisdictions awaiting a final agreement on the issues of independence, the attempt to grow civil society will foster attitudes and structures that further divide leaders and publics into separate communities. This outcome will deepen the conflict between competing nation-state projects and make peace more fragile and recurrence of war more likely. At the core of the problem of maintaining the peace is creating stakeholders—citizens who believe that peace serves their interests. The chapter expands on this theme and add two points: First, maintenance of the peace requires not only that “stakeholders” believe that peace (that is, abjuring the means of warfare) is in their interest, but that a particular peace (that is, the substance of the settlement on the issue of independence) is at least as good as another peace that they are likely to achieve through renewal of warfare. Second, to consider themselves stakeholders, participants must sense not only that their interests are being served by the peace, but also that they are empowered as partial owners of the postsettlement state. (pages 53 - 78)
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- Shaheen Mozaffar
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0004
[electoral institutions, post-civil war states, civil wars, proportional representation, electoral systems]
This chapter examines the role that electoral institutions have played in managing competition among postwar rivals. It begins with a brief review of the central theoretical arguments advanced in support of the choice of proportional representation electoral systems as a key institutional mechanism of conflict management in post-civil war societies, and points to reasons why these arguments do not adequately address the strategic contingencies surrounding the choice of electoral systems in peace agreements and their impact on sustaining peace in postconflict societies. It then elaborates elements of an alternative approach that underscores the importance of electoral systems in conflict management, but in the context of (a) the historical antecedents and the associated structure, dynamics, and outcomes of civil wars; (b) the resulting social configuration, morphology, and patterns of group interaction; and (c) the choice of the overall institutional design of democratic governance enshrined in peace settlements. Illustrative examples from several countries in Africa and elsewhere in support of this approach are provided. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and policy implications of the analysis. (pages 79 - 103)
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- Timothy D. Sisk
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0005
[power-sharing, sustainable peace, bargaining, institution building, democratic social contracts, political parties, civil society]
This chapter argues that, although power-sharing pacts may initially be essential for urgently ending the scourge of modern civil wars, over time certain features of power sharing (grand coalitions, electoral system choices, and territorial divisions of power, especially) tend to frustrate the pursuit of sustainable peace. As time passes they need to replaced, through ongoing bargaining and institution building, with agreements that more closely approximate democratic social contracts based on reciprocal rights and mutual interdependencies, and especially cross-communal political parties and civil society. (pages 105 - 118)
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Part II. Soft Intervention

- Donald Rothchild, Nikolas Emmanuel
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0006
[power relations, incentives, negotiation, ethnic reconciliation, sustainable peace, civil wars, peace agreements, soft intervention]
This chapter shifts the traditional perception of power relations in order to look at the ways great powers make use of incentives to encourage negotiation, ethnic reconciliation, and continued cooperation after the achievement of peace. The thrust of the analysis is how an external actor, primarily the United States, can use incentives and disincentives, broadly conceived, to promote change of behavior on the ground in an effort to facilitate the process of negotiating and implementing peace agreements, thereby reducing the possibility of continued intense internal conflict. The focus is on soft intervention generally and incentive strategies in particular, in an effort to link ideals related to facilitating an end to civil wars and continuing peace after conflict, as well as protecting vulnerable peoples, on the one hand, with the pragmatism of a strategy that is risk- and cost-effective, on the other hand. Neither avoidance nor military intervention can be viewed as justified in most cases. Rather, a diplomatic approach seems a logical alternative, and it holds out the possibility of greater leverage than is often recognized. But such leverage must meet the tests of timing, legitimacy, and appropriateness. The chapter considers when and what type of incentive should be used at the lowest cost to the intervener, keeping in mind a consideration for the uniqueness of the conflict. (pages 123 - 143)
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- Terrence Lyons
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0007
[civil wars, soft interventions, political parties, militias]
This chapter examines the potential role of soft intervention in transforming the armed groups once engaged in civil war violence into entities supportive of peace. Considering several cases at the critical moment immediately following the signing of a settlement, it assesses the degree of success associated with efforts to change militias organized for the promotion of violence into political parties organized to engage in peaceful political competition. It argues that this is a crucial step in the peace process because demilitarizing political actors limits their capacity to derail the peace process. It notes that in certain cases tactics of soft intervention played an important role in efforts to either reward or punish domestic political actors who had an influence over the peace process. (pages 145 - 162)
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- Michael W. Foley
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0008
[peacemaking, enforcement, civil war, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, El Salvador]
No intervention, hard or soft, will succeed in bringing peace in civil conflicts without the cooperation of key domestic actors. This is the lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan under the American occupation, Sudan, and Congo today. It is also the lesson of Somalia, where civil conflict persists not despite but because of foreign interventions, both hard and soft. International efforts to bring peace must take into account the positions and capabilities of domestic actors. But which ones? This chapter examines three cases in which some scholarly attention has been paid to the role of civil society in peacemaking and enforcement. The situation facing civil society in each case differed from the situations in the others. In two of these, Northern Ireland and Bosnia, civil conflict revolved around communal identities; in El Salvador the conflict claimed the form of an elite-popular struggle. A close examination of these varying cases suggests the difficulties that civil society faces in contributing to peace implementation and the limits of such a role even in the most favorable instances. It also raises some cautions about where and how the international community might effectively intervene to support that role. (pages 163 - 187)
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- Susan L. Woodward
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0009
[sustainable peace, economic incentives, international economic intervention, peace-building, private sector development]
This chapter argues that local economic actors are critical to the creation and sustainability of the peace, but that the current economic incentives approach fundamentally misunderstands their role and its causes. It begins by laying out the assumptions that underlie the current approach of international economic intervention. It then turns to the conditions under which local economic actors can be expected to be peace-promoting, in two ways—first in terms of the political settlement and second in terms of economic policies that business prefers. The chapter ends by questioning the puzzle of current policy and practice, the silence on, neglect of, and often even disincentives to domestic entrepreneurs and economic activity. This puzzling behavior is particularly surprising given that economic actors are so prominent in the literature of greatest influence on international policy as a cause of civil war and its prolongation, and also that the newest vogue in peace-building policy circles is “private sector development”. (pages 189 - 216)
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- Caroline A. Hartzell, Matthew Hoddie
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0010
[legitimacy, third-party actors, conflict management, international community, stakeholders]
This book has shown that the success of the international community in using incentive strategies for conflict management is mixed. Although peace continues to hold in several of the countries in which third-party actors have intervened, in at least some instances the peace remains fragile and lacks legitimacy for some portions of the population. Based on the analyses offered here, the principal factors that explain this mixed record are a tendency on the part of third-party actors to impose their own visions of the peace on post-civil war states; problems involved in the coordination or sequencing of strategies; and a penchant on the part of the international community to focus on the interests of some members of society while neglecting others. The identification of postwar populations' interests in peace, strategies for creating stakeholders in the peace, and policy implications are discussed. (pages 219 - 235)
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List of Contributors