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Ripening Within?: Strategies Used by Rebel Negotiators to End Ethnic War
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2011 (English)In: Negotiation journal, ISSN 0748-4526, E-ISSN 1571-9979, Vol. 27, no 3, 311-342 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores what strategies rebels use to prepare their ethnic community for negotiated peace. Proposed strategies are distilled from relevant theory and systematically investigated in case analyses of peace negotiations in Sri Lanka, Indonesian Aceh, and Senegal. The empirical findings indicate that although a coercive military capacity underpinned claims to ethnic representation, coercion did not dominate during the prenegotiation phase. During negotiations, noncoercive persuasion, as well as collective and selective incentives, clearly dominated. Moreover, the most important measures were internal to the negotiating rebel group. The successful rebel negotiator appeared to "mobilize in reverse" by initially targeting the core of military leaders followed by competitor groups and constituents. The article systematically examines across cases what measures rebel negotiators have used to "ripen" their own community, how these measures have been sequenced, and against whom they have been directed. The findings have important implications for the concepts of ripeness and prenegotiation and their requirements. The study underscores in particular the relevance of rebels' nonviolent commitment signals, something that has been largely overlooked in the research on nonstate armed actors. The policy implications suggest the possible benefits of third-party assistance to efforts to promote communication, public outreach, and procedural transparency on the nonstate side in connection with peace talks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 27, no 3, 311-342 p.
Keyword [en]
negotiation, ripeness, prenegotiation, negotiation strategy, two-level game, nonstate party, ethnic conflict, rebels, Sri Lanka, Aceh, Indonesia, Senegal, Tamil Tigers, Geracan Aceh Merdeka, Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de la Casamance
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156967DOI: 10.1111/j.1571-9979.2011.00310.xISI: 000292844000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156967DiVA: diva2:435812
Available from: 2011-08-20 Created: 2011-08-11 Last updated: 2011-08-20Bibliographically approved

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