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Enforcing Peace Agreements through Commitment Technologies

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  • Murshed, S. Mansoob
  • Verwimp, Philip

Abstract

This paper models the instability of peace agreements, motivated by the empirical regularity with which peace agreements tend to break down following civil war. When war provides opportunities for profit to one side, or when other difficulties such as historical grievances exist, peace may become incentive incompatible. The party that has something to gain from surprise warfare may agree to peace, but will later renege on it. It is shown that the levels of conflict chosen by this group are an increasing function of both grievance and greed, but decreasing in the direct costs of war. Peace is achievable via externally devised mechanisms that enhance commitment to peace. Aid and direct military peacekeeping intervention (sanctions) can reduce or eliminate conflict. These sanctions, however, need to be credible. Finally, the independent provision and finance of international sanctions are considered. When these arrangements yield little benefit to financial sponsors, or are very costly to them, the bite of the sanctions can become ineffective.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2008/rp2008-45.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number RP2008/45.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-45

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Related research

Keywords: commitment problems; peace treaties; commitment technologies; sanctions;

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  1. Azam, Jean-Paul, 2005. "Can the Peace Be Imported?," IDEI Working Papers 356, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  3. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
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