Abstract

What are the steps to sustainable peace? While most of the literature in the peace research program treats the longevity of peace mainly as a factor of the inclusiveness of the peace agreement that end civil wars; the argument in this research is that the duration of peace is more likely to be predicated both on the inclusiveness of the peace agreement as well as the transitional justice processes thereof. Based on the analysis of a new dataset that borrows from the UCDP/PRIO data on civil war on one hand and the transition justice database (TJDB) on the other, for the period 1970-2010, I contend that the longevity of peace is strongly related to factors around both the nature of peace agreements and the forms of transition justice following civil wars. The findings suggest that retributive transitional justice mechanisms seem to have a generally negative andtor insignificant impact on peace duration while restorative transitional justice mechanisms particularly reparation of victims of civil war atrocities by the perpetrators seem to have the potential for leading to sustainable peace. In this direction. this study arrived at the conclusion that there is potential in factoring-in transitional justice mechanisms in future models for the duration of peace. Of particular interest for future research would be a more elaborate and empirically nuanced approach to peace duration that involves a broader temporal and spatial scope while considering other predictor variables not addressed herein and/or mentioned in passing.

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Abstract

For long, the discourse on civil war, its causes, management and the conditions for peace featured Iess strongly in the empirical mainstream of the field. Nonetheless, over the past decade or so, several empirically nuanced works offered varied explanations on various aspects of intra-state conflicts in an attempt to account for conditions under which the peace that follows such devastating episodes succeeds or otherwise fails. Despite these gains, both theoretical and empirical puzzles persist; more so those to do with the delicate transitional phases that immediately follow major civil wars. Informed by four main theoretical premises emerging from the literature; this study set out to contribute to this debate by undertaking a two-stage examination of the effect of transitional justice (TJ) on post-civil war human rights (HR) compliance and the duration of post-civil war peace. To this end, a time-series cross-national dataset for the period 1970-2006 was utilized in testing two broad sets of hypotheses on this relationship. The findings support the general hypothetical contention that TJ has a likely positive impact on human rights compliance as well as less likelihood of civil war recurrence. More specifically however, the findings exhibited stronger support for the legalist argument (mainly on trials and lustration policies); while presenting "mixed findings" for the emotional psychology approach; with more empirical support for amnesties and reparations, but much less in support for truth-telling processes. Nonetheless, pragmatic and/or holistic propositions for combination(s) of both restorative and retributive TJ mechanisms appeared to enjoy much less empirical support. However, the findings did support the credible commitments argument pointing to higher HR compliance effects associated with states' signing and ratification of the Rome Statute as well as a positive effect of the same on post-civil war peace durations.

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