Powers of persuasion: Incentives, sanctions and conditionality in peacemaking
Publication date: 
2008
Accord issue: 
19

Leverage is rarely, if ever, sufficient to make peace between adversaries locked in protracted hostilities. Catherine Barnes and Aaron Griffiths focus on how external actors can support a constructive process leading to a mutually acceptable peace agreement – potentially by going beyond hard bargaining strategies to much broader problem-solving approaches.

They suggest how external actors should base their strategies on a careful understanding of the decision-making processes of the principal leaders as well as how to influence the wider socio-political context. They also identify measures that external actors can take at different phases in the transition from war to peace to enhance the effective use of their influence.

In any violent conflict, it is likely that the belligerents have at least a potential motivation to engage in peacemaking even when it is insufficient to counter their motivation to continue fighting. Their decision about whether to engage is not a fixed or static choice but is central to an ongoing strategic calculation.

Catherine Barnes and Aaron Griffiths