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Title:Paths to peace: conflict management trajectories in militarized interstate disputes
Author(s):Owsiak, Andrew P.
Director of Research:Diehl, Paul F.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Diehl, Paul F.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Vasquez, John A.; Frazier, Derrick V.; Hays, Jude C.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):international conflict
conflict management
Abstract:When multiple third-parties (states, coalitions, and international organizations) intervene in the same conflict, do their efforts inform one another? Anecdotal evidence suggests such a possibility, but research to date has not attempted to model this interdependence directly. The current project breaks with that tradition. In particular, it proposes three competing explanations of how previous intervention efforts affect current intervention decisions: a cost model (and a variant on it, a limited commitments model), a learning model, and a random model. After using a series of Markov transition (regime-switching) models to evaluate conflict management behavior within militarized interstate disputes in the 1946-2001 period, this study concludes that third-party intervention efforts inform one another. More specifically, third-parties examine previous efforts and balance their desire to manage conflict with their need to minimize intervention costs (the cost and limited commitments models). As a result, third-parties intervene regularly using verbal pleas and mediation, but rely significantly less frequently on legal, administrative, or peace operations strategies. This empirical threshold to the intervention costs that third-parties are willing to bear has strong theoretical foundations and holds across different time periods and third-party actors. Furthermore, the analysis indicates that the first third-party to intervene in a conflict is most likely to use a strategy designed to help the disputants work toward a resolution of their dispute. After this initial intervention, the level of third-party involvement declines and often devolves into a series of verbal pleas for peace. Such findings cumulatively suggest that disputants hold the key to effective conflict management. If the disputants adopt and maintain an extreme bargaining position or fail to encourage third-parties to accept greater intervention costs, their dispute will receive little more than verbal pleas for negotiations and peace.
Issue Date:2011-08-26
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Andrew P. Owsiak
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-27
Date Deposited:2011-08

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