Ceasefire Project

How do ceasefire agreements shape the trajectory of violence in civil war zones? Under what conditions do they stop the killing, and when do they open up new front lines and trigger shifts in the actors, forms, and locations of violence instead? Despite the importance attributed to ceasefires by international peacemakers, few studies have systematically tested their impact on the severity and nature of violence in conflict societies, and there is no current global dataset on ceasefires to do so. This project fills this gap in research on violence during peace processes.

This project is a collaboration with Govinda Clayton at ETH Zürich. As an important part of the project, we are involved in a collaborative effort (together with PRIO in Norway) to create a global dataset of all ceasefires in civil wars between 1989 and 2020.

The current step-motherly treatment of ceasefires in academia defies their importance in actual peace processes: Ceasefires are one of the first stages at which peace processes fail, and violence is the primary culprit. Ceasefire violence therefore not only kills, but it may significantly reduce the chances of an eventual resolution of the conflict. In this project we therefore aim to generate knowledge on how ceasefire violence can be prevented and mitigated in order to increase the chances that ceasefires are a first step towards lasting peace.

See this interview in the DPCR Alumni Newsletter for info on what we hope to achieve in this project, and how!

Project Publications

Bara, Corinne and Govinda Clayton (2022) Your Reputation Precedes You: Ceasefires and Cooperative Credibility During Civil Conflict, Journal of Conflict Resolution, online first. Doi:10.1177/0022002722112672.

Clayton, Govinda; H.M. Nygård; H. Strand; S.A. Rustad; C. Wiehler; T. Sagård; P. Landsverk; R. Ryland; V. Sticher; E. Wink; Corinne Bara (2022) Introducing the ETH/PRIO Civil Conflict Ceasefire Dataset, Journal of Conflict Resolution, online first. Doi:10.1177/00220027221129183.

Clayton, Govinda, Nygård, H. M., Rustad, S. A., & Strand, H. (2022). Ceasefires in Civil Conflict: A Research Agenda. Journal of Conflict Resolution, online first. Doi:10.1177/00220027221128300.

Clayton, Govinda, Nygård, H. M., Rustad, S. A., & Strand, H. (2022). Costs and Cover: Explaining the Onset of Ceasefires in Civil Conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution, online first. Doi:10.1177/00220027221129195.

Bara, Corinne; Govinda Clayton & Siri Aas Rustad (2021) Understanding Ceasefires, International Peacekeeping 28(3): 329-340.

Clayton, Govinda; Laurie Nathan & Claudia Wiehler (2021) Ceasefire Success: A Conceptual Framework, International Peacekeeping 28(3): 341-365.

Clayton, Govinda and Valerie Sticher (2021) The Logic of Ceasefires in Civil War, International Studies Quarterly 65(3): 633–646 .

Kane, Sean and Govinda Clayton (2021) Cyber Ceasefires: Incorporating Restraints on Offensive Cyber Operations in Agreements to Stop Armed Conflict. CSS Mediation Resources. Zürich: Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zürich.

Schumann, Maurice & Corinne Bara. A New Era: Power in Partnership Peacekeeping (conditionally accepted at International Studies Quarterly).

Bara, Corinne and Maurice Schumann. Relief for suffering populations? Ceasefires and civilian targeting in civil war [work in progress].

Bara, Corinne and Maurice Schumann. Civil wars are complex: Linking war-related violence to UCDP conflicts [work in progress].