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Aggravating conflicts or paving the way to peace? The role and impact of ceasefire agreements in relation to peace processes and comprehensive peace accords

Research project This project is concerned with analysing ceasefire agreements in relation to peace processes and comprehensive peace accords.

More specifically, the purpose is (1) to analyse why some ceasefires lead to peace accords while others do not, and (2) to further advance and refine a theoretical framework that I have developed aiming to analyse ceasefire agreements in relation to peace processes.

Head of project

Malin Åkebo
Research fellow (absent), associate professor
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2015-01-01 2019-12-31

Funding

The Swedish Research Council

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research subject

Peace and conflict studies

Project description

Ceasefire agreements are often assumed to create momentum in peace processes and to pave the way to a peaceful solution to violent conflicts. At the same time, it has also been suggested that ceasefires can have a negative impact on peace processes and aggravate conflicts. Thus, while research repeatedly underscores the importance of ceasefire agreements in peace processes the results have been ambiguous. To contribute to increase the knowledge of war-to-peace transitions, in this project I study (i) linkages between interim ceasefires and subsequent peace accords, and (ii) the impact of ceasefires on the dynamics of prolonged or stalled peace processes. How and why does the nature of ceasefires vary across conflict settings? What is the impact of ceasefires on subsequent peace accords? Under what conditions do ceasefires contribute to either generate or overcome conflicts? What similarities and differences can be identified between empirical cases that can increase our knowledge about ceasefires in relation to peace processes and comprehensive peace accords?

The project uses a comparative approach and includes both case studies and analysis of a larger number of ceasefires.

The project contributes to filling a major research gap and is expected to advance the knowledge on the nature and impact of agreements in transitions from war to peace and the sequencing of initiatives in peace processes. The results will also be of interest for practitioners engaged in finding peaceful solutions to violent conflicts.