Third-party Guarantors and Civil War Settlement: Achieving and Maintaining Peace

Open Access
Lynes, Kaitlyn Nicole
Area of Honors:
International Politics
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Douglas William Lemke, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Honors Advisor
  • Civil Wars
  • Negotiations
  • Third-Party Guarantors
  • Peaceful Settlements
  • Africa
Civil wars tend to be more violent, last longer, and are more difficult to resolve than interstate wars. During the settlement process, civil war opponents face a security dilemma. In order to integrate actors after a civil war, one or both sides must disarm. When an actor begins disarmament, however, any ability to defend themselves from their opponent taking advantage of their new weakness is lost. Therefore, this study argues that the participation of third-party security guarantors assisting in the negotiation process makes a successful settlement more likely. When a third-party promises security to an actor in the process of disarmament, both opponents are more likely to honor the terms of a signed treaty. This much is known from past work. However, that past work only analyses civil wars during the Cold War era (1945-1990). This is a big limitation not only because it excludes many more recent civil wars from analysis, but also because the Cold War competition between the West and Soviet worlds heavily influenced civil war dynamics. I extend a previously existing dataset to include the newest Correlates of War data, bringing analysis up to 2007. I quantitatively determine whether the relationship between third-party guarantors and the success of civil war settlements persists in more recent times. Furthermore, my study investigates whether there is a unique role for Africa as a region especially prone to civil wars and less likely to have strong foreign supporters willing to guarantee peace agreements.