National Dialogue in Sudan: Past Experiences and Current Challenges

Atta El-Hassan El-Battahani

Since independence, Sudan has undergone a number of national peace agreements, some of which were observed and honoured for short periods. The net result of broken agreements has driven the country into deep conflict, leading to the secession of South Sudan in 2011, and creating a crisis which still threatens the country with further violence and dismemberment. While Sudan ...» more

Religion and Mediation: The Role of Faith-Based Actors in International Conflict Resolution

J. Bercovitch, S.A. Kadayifci-Orellana

This paper emphasises the importance of religion and religious actors in the process of mediation. We examine the general conditions that facilitate mediation in international relations and assess how much these hold true in the case of faith-based mediation. We find that aspects such as legitimacy and leverage have a major impact on the success or failure of mediation. We ...» more

Sequencing reforms in fragile states

Afghan Students Back to School

How can governments in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) plan and manage reforms when everything is urgent and important, and when capacity and resources are low? How can external actors strategically support the fulfilment of essential and expected state functions? This Topic Guide provides an overview of the evidence that examines the sequencing of statebuilding and ...» more



Conflict is inherent in all societies and arises when two or more groups believe their interests are incompatible. ‘Conflict’ is not, however, interchangeable with ‘violence’. Non-violent resolution is possible when individuals and groups have trust in their governing structures, society and institutions to manage incompatible interests. Conflict becomes a problem when this ...» more

Lessons from implementing peace agreements: what next for Colombia?

Conflict in Colombia has deep roots, with over 50 years of armed conflict between state and non-state armed forces, more than 220,000 people estimated dead, and five million internally displaced people (ICG, 2013). Since the 1980s, there have been many formal and informal peace negotiations between the state and the different non-state armed groups. But no agreement to date has ...» more

Political Settlements, Elite Pacts, and Governments of National Unity: A Conceptual Study

Edward Laws

How should political settlements be defined and understood? How should elite pacts and governments of national unity (GNUs) be defined and understood? The concept of the 'political settlement' has been used in a variety of subtly, but significantly, different ways. Sometimes it has been used interchangeably with 'elite pacts', 'elite bargains' or 'peace agreements'. This paper ...» more

UN Peace Support Mission Transitions

This report provides an overview of the available analysis on UN peace support transitions. The term transitions refers to situations where peace support operations withdraw and hand over responsibility to national authorities, another UN body such as a UN country team, an alternative international presence, or other regional and local actors. The available literature is mostly ...» more

UN Peace Support Mission Transitions – Haiti

United Nations peace operations in Haiti date back to September 1993, when the Security Council set up the first UN peacekeeping operation in the country – the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH). Since then, Haiti has been somewhat of a ‘playground’ for the evolution of UN peacekeeping. Early missions (UNSMIH/UNTMIH) were characterised by narrow remits addressing ...» more

UN Peace Support Mission Transitions – Sierra Leone

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) began in 1999. At its height in 2001 it consisted of some 17,500 personnel. The mission had a strong influence on how the integrated mission concept is understood and applied today, particularly with regard to integrating humanitarian politico-military efforts and the UN system in the country, operating under the ...» more

Education in Peace Agreements, 1989-2005

Kendra E Dupuy

How has education been addressed in peace agreements? This paper from the Conflict Resolution Quarterly aims to fill a gap in research by providing a systematic overview of the way education has been included in peace agreements and its role as a peacemaking strategy. The way in which education is addressed varies significantly in terms of what it entails, how it will be ...» more

Not Always in the People’s Interest: Power-Sharing Arrangements in African Peace Agreements

Andreas Mehler

Peace agreements that place a heavy emphasis on power-sharing often preclude people’s interests and can impede sustainable peace. This paper, published by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, analyses the impact of power-sharing arrangements in recent African peace agreements. Many peace agreement failures are caused in part by the international community’s support ...» more

Protecting Civilians Through Peace Agreements: Challenges and Lessons of the Darfur Peace Agreement

Jeremy Brickhill

Why do some peace processes create conditions for effective protection of civilians while others don’t? This paper, authored by Jeremy Brickhill, uses lessons learned from the Darfur Peace Agreement to argue that inadequate attention to security aspects of peace processes leads to failure of peace agreements and civilians left at risk. Security arrangement negotiations and ...» more

Addressing Internal Displacement in Peace Processes, Peace Agreements and Peace-Building

Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement

How can internal displacement best be integrated into peace processes, peace agreements and peacebuilding? This report from the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement contends that resolving displacement is strongly connected to achieving peace, especially in cases of large-scale displacement. Assisting displaced people to return and reintegrate has the potential both ...» more

The People’s Peace? Peace Agreements, Civil Society, and Participatory Democracy

Christine Bell, Catherine O'Rourke

To what extent do peace agreements support participatory democracy? This article from the International Political Science Review analyses the provision made by post-1990 peace agreements for civil society. It demonstrates the importance of peace processes to theories of civil society. It does not, however, draw conclusions about the relationship between provision for civil ...» more

Accountability and Peace Agreements: Mapping Trends from 1980 to 2006

L Vinjamuri, A P Boesenecker

To what extent have peace agreements incorporated mechanisms for dealing with justice issues? This study from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue analyses 77 verified peace processes from around the world between 1980 and 2006. Negotiating justice is a complex and difficult process, especially within a peace agreement involving a whole range of additional issues.Although it is ...» more

Protecting Civilians Through Peace Agreements – Challenges and Lessons of the Darfur Peace Agreement

J Brickhill

Why did the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) fail to create conditions for civilian protection? This paper from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) argues that this was largely a result of the failure to secure effective ceasefire arrangements, a prerequisite for the achievement of a political settlement. A potential ceasefire was lost to short-term political expediency that ...» more

Peace Processes and State Building: Economic and Institutional Provisions of Peace Agreements

A Suhrke, T Wimpelmann

To what extent have recent civil war peace agreements included state-building provisions? This paper, prepared for  the World Bank and the UNDP by the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), reviews the academic literature and examines recent peace agreements to assess the degree to which they make provision for future state operations. State-building provisions may involve a trade-off ...» more

Good Agreement? Bad Agreement? An Implementation Perspective

Jean Arnault

There is more than one school of thought when it comes to the role and importance of peace agreements within the overall process of reaching the negotiated settlement of an internal conflict. One approach, perhaps best described as “constitutive”, views the substance of the peace agreement as key to the overall process, which will reflect its strengths and weaknesses, virtues ...» more