Chapter

Enforcing Peace Agreements in Fragile States through Commitment Technologies

S. Mansoob Murshed and Philip Verwimp

in Fragile States

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693153
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731990 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693153.003.0008

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Enforcing Peace Agreements in Fragile States through Commitment Technologies

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This chapter 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.

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

Chapter.  6531 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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