Soft Intervention in Africa: US Efforts to Generate Support for Peace

Donald Rothchild and Nikolas Emmanuel

in Strengthening Peace in Post-Civil War States

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226351247
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226351261 | DOI:
Soft Intervention in Africa: US Efforts to Generate Support for Peace

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This chapter shifts the traditional perception of power relations in order to look at the ways great powers make use of incentives to encourage negotiation, ethnic reconciliation, and continued cooperation after the achievement of peace. The thrust of the analysis is how an external actor, primarily the United States, can use incentives and disincentives, broadly conceived, to promote change of behavior on the ground in an effort to facilitate the process of negotiating and implementing peace agreements, thereby reducing the possibility of continued intense internal conflict. The focus is on soft intervention generally and incentive strategies in particular, in an effort to link ideals related to facilitating an end to civil wars and continuing peace after conflict, as well as protecting vulnerable peoples, on the one hand, with the pragmatism of a strategy that is risk- and cost-effective, on the other hand. Neither avoidance nor military intervention can be viewed as justified in most cases. Rather, a diplomatic approach seems a logical alternative, and it holds out the possibility of greater leverage than is often recognized. But such leverage must meet the tests of timing, legitimacy, and appropriateness. The chapter considers when and what type of incentive should be used at the lowest cost to the intervener, keeping in mind a consideration for the uniqueness of the conflict.

Keywords: power relations; incentives; negotiation; ethnic reconciliation; sustainable peace; civil wars; peace agreements; soft intervention

Chapter.  8804 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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