uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
How and when armed conflicts end: Introducing the UCDP Conflict Termination dataset
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research. (Uppsala Conflict Data Program)
2010 (English)In: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578, Vol. 47, no 2, 243-250 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents new data on the start and end dates and the means of termination for armed conflicts, 1946-2005. These data contribute to quantitative research on conflict resolution and recurrence in three important respects: the data cover both interstate and intrastate armed conflicts, the data cover low-intensity conflicts, and the data provide information on a broad range of termination outcomes. In order to disaggregate the UCDP-PRIO Armed Conflict dataset into multiple analytical units, this dataset introduces the concept of conflict episodes, defined as years of continuous use of armed force in a conflict. Using these data, general trends and patterns are presented, showing that conflicts do not exclusively end with decisive outcomes such as victory or peace agreement but more often under unclear circumstances where fighting simply ceases. This pattern is consistent across different types of conflict, as is the finding that victories are more common in conflicts with short duration. The article then examines some factors that have been found to predict civil war recurrence and explores whether using the new dataset produces similar results. This exercise offers a number of interesting new insights and finds that the determinants for civil war recurrence identified in previous research are sensitive to alternate formulations of conflict termination data. The findings suggest that intrastate conflicts are less likely to recur after government victories or after the deployment of peacekeepers. If the previous conflict is fought with rebels aiming for total control over government or if the belligerents mobilized along ethnic lines, the risk of recurrence increases. The discrepancy in findings with previous research indicates the need for further study of conflict resolution and recurrence, for which this dataset will be useful.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage Publications, 2010. Vol. 47, no 2, 243-250 p.
Keyword [en]
civil war duration, new dataset, peace agreement, victory, war termination
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-137562DOI: 10.1177/0022343309353108ISI: 000274532700011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-137562DiVA: diva2:378465
Available from: 2010-12-15 Created: 2010-12-15 Last updated: 2014-11-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Dismantling the Conflict Trap: Essays on Civil War Resolution and Relapse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dismantling the Conflict Trap: Essays on Civil War Resolution and Relapse
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Countries that have experienced civil war suffer a greater risk for new conflict than countries with no prior history of civil war. This empirical finding has been called a conflict trap where the legacy of previous war - unsolved issues, indecisive outcomes, and destruction – leads to renewed fighting. Yet, countries like Cambodia, El Salvador, Indonesia, and Mozambique have managed to overcome decade-long conflicts without relapse. This dissertation addresses this empirical puzzle by seeking to dismantle the conflict trap and look at microlevel explanations for civil war resolution and relapse. It adds to existing scholarship in three ways: first, by using disaggregated empirics on war termination and how fighting resumes; second, by exploring government agency in conflict processes; and third, by disaggregating rebel organizations. Essay I present original data on the start and end dates and means of termination for all armed conflicts, 1946-2005. Contrary to previous work, this data reveal that wars does not always end through victory or peace agreement, but commonly end under unclear circumstances. Essay II addresses how developments exogenous to the conflict influence governments’ decision to engage in a peace process. The results show that after natural disasters when state resources need to be allocated towards disaster relief, governments are more willing to negotiate and conclude ceasefires with insurgents. Essay III focuses on the post-conflict society, and posits that security concerns among former war participants will push them towards remobilizing into rebellion. The findings indicate that if ex-belligerent elite’s security is compromised, the parties of the previous war will resume fighting, while insecurity among former rank-and-file leads to the formation of violent splinter rebel groups. Finally, Essay IV seeks to explain why governments sometimes launch offensives on former rebels in post-conflict countries. The results show that internal power struggles provide leaders with incentives to use force against domestic third parties to strengthen their position against intra-government rivals. Taken together, this dissertation demonstrates that there is analytical leverage to be had by disaggregating the processes of violence in civil war and post-conflict societies, as well as the actors involved – both the government and rebel sides.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research, 2012. 49 p.
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 96
civil war, conflict resolution, conflict recurrence, diversionary war, ripe moment, natural resources, peace agreement, victory, war termination
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172231 (URN)978-91-506-2284-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-25, sal IV, Universitetshuset, S:t Olofsgatan/ Öfre Slottsgatan,, Uppsala, 10:43 (English)
Available from: 2012-05-03 Created: 2012-04-03 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Kreutz, Joakim
By organisation
Department of Peace and Conflict Research
In the same journal
Journal of Peace Research
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 227 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link