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 more info on what we hope to achieve in this project, and how!
Bara, Corinne and Govinda Clayton. Your Reputation Precedes You: Ceasefires, Credibility and Bargaining During Civil Conflict [Under review at the Journal of Conflict Resolution]
Govinda Clayton, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, Håvard Strand, Siri Aas Rustad, Claudia Wiehler, Tora Sagård, Peder Landsverk, Reidun Ryland, Valerie Sticher, Emma Wink, and Corinne Bara. Introducing the ETH/PRIO civil conflict ceasefire dataset [Under review at the Journal of Conflict Resolution]
Bara, Corinne, Govinda Clayton and Siri Aas Rustad. Ceasefires in Civil Wars: Introduction to a Special Issue [forthcoming in International Peacekeeping in 2021].