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Bargaining, bias and peace brokers: How rebels commit to peace
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578, Vol. 44, no 2, 177-194 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What is the role of biased mediators in bringing belligerents to a negotiated settlement in internal armed conflicts? Previous research has suggested that biased third parties may mitigate commitment problems between parties, by serving as guarantors for the weakening side. This article contributes to the previous debate by distinguishing, theoretically and empirically, between government- and rebel-biased mediation. When belligerents in internal armed conflicts consider ending their armed conflict through a negotiated settlement, the government stands to relinquish authority, whereas the rebels stand to gain opportunities - legitimacy, time and access to official structures - that can be exploited in the post-agreement future. Hence, in the pre-settlement phase of the conflict process, it is above all the rebels that have problems committing to peace. The author argues that government-biased mediators can decrease the fears of the government and thereby mitigate the rebels' commitment problems. Using new data on the dyadic level covering all intrastate armed conflict in the period 1989-2003, this article examines states, organizations and individuals that are mediating in states' internal conflicts. The empirical analysis supports the above-mentioned argument. Mediators on the side of the government have a positive effect on negotiated settlements, while rebel-biased mediators have no significant effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 44, no 2, 177-194 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-144946DOI: 10.1177/0022343307075121ISI: 000245923100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-144946DiVA: diva2:395114
Available from: 2011-02-04 Created: 2011-02-04 Last updated: 2011-02-04Bibliographically approved

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