Paix sans frontières: building peace across borders
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The Esquipulas process in Central America in the 1980s and 1990s shows how regional diplomacy can respond to regional security complexes. Jordi Urgell Garcia describes how regional initiatives had previously foundered in the context of Cold War proxy conflicts and externally sponsored dictatorships. The spread of democratisation and the de-escalation of the Cold War enabled Esquipulas to get a solid footing, but it took many years and came at a distinct historical juncture, and momentum has subsequently waned.

Despite their diplomatic innovation, the peace agreements in Central America lacked the wide-reaching social support needed to become an effective agenda for economic and political transformation. The role of civil society during the negotiation process was marginal and there was a lack of popular ownership of the peace agreements.

Jordi Urgell Garcia