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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Murshed, S. Mansoob & Verwimp, Philip, 2008. "Enforcing Peace Agreements through Commitment Technologies," WIDER Working Paper Series 045, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-45
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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/rp2008-45.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
    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. Laffont,Jean-Jacques, 2005. "Regulation and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521840187.
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    1. repec:gok:ijdcv1:v:7:y:2017:i:1:p:12-31 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    commitment problems; peace treaties; commitment technologies; sanctions;

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