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Table of contents

Most of the contributors used some form of structured case comparison to do their work. The results of their efforts have been sets of propositions or empirically based hypotheses about the conditions and mechanisms by which particular efforts at international conflict resolution yield results that can be considered successful. It is our hope and expectation that the knowledge developed by the contributors will be of practical value. We do not expect that it will be prescriptive in the sense of providing a standard set of procedures that tell practitioners what to do in particular situations.

However, it is intended to be useful to practitioners when they combine it with specific knowledge about what kind of situation is at hand. Generic knowledge also has diagnostic value for practitioners because it describes the characteristics to look for in situations that make a difference in terms of which actions will be effective.

After a practitioner has accurately diagnosed a. However, even with the perfect diagnosis of a situation, generic knowledge cannot be expected to provide prescriptions for action, for several reasons. First, this kind of knowledge will never be solidly established in the fashion of a law of physics. For one thing, human actors can defy the laws said to govern their own behavior; for another, world conditions continually change in ways that may invalidate conclusions from past experience.

Second, the many tradeoffs in any decision situation make general knowledge an imperfect guide to action. Sometimes, all the aspects of success cannot be achieved at once and choices must be made. Sometimes, conflict resolution outcomes are not the only ones relevant to practitioners, who must then weigh those outcomes against other desired outcomes e. Despite such limitations, we believe the kinds of knowledge developed in this volume will prove useful to conflict resolution practitioners.

They can help practitioners identify options for action they might not otherwise have considered, think through the implications of each course of action, and identify ways of checking to see if actions, once taken, remain on track. However, one must recognize that practitioners may resist accepting conclusions developed by systematic analysis. Many practitioners mistrust such conclusions and prefer to trust their own experiential knowledge and that developed by other practitioners.

Anticipating this possibility, we have involved current or former practitioners in discussion about each of the studies presented in Chapters 3 through 14 from the earliest phases and in the review of the chapters. We hope that this sort of interaction between researchers and practitioners will, over time, improve mutual respect for and understanding of the kinds of knowledge that direct experience and systematic analysis taken together can provide.

The Role of NGOs In Conflict and Peace-Building

Bridging the gap between scholarship and practice remains an overriding challenge for international conflict resolution George, We believe this volume will also be of value for scholars of international relations and conflict resolution. For them it will collect useful knowledge, raise important issues for the future development of knowledge, and generate a variety of propositions to examine and hypotheses to test in future research in this area.

The remainder of this book consists of 13 studies, one methodological and 12 substantive, concerned with particular techniques of conflict resolution. They identify the inherent difficulties of this task and show how progress can be made in the face of these obstacles. They conclude that a systematic approach based on social scientific concepts and techniques can produce useful generalizations about which techniques work under which conditions and thus raise the level of understanding available to conflict resolution practitioners.

The main challenges of evaluation defined in Chapter 2 concern developing analytical concepts, selecting cases for analysis, measuring outcomes and the factors affecting them, and making inferences about cause and effect. The conceptual challenges include defining and classifying interventions, defining success, and setting reasonable expectations for the effects of an intervention. The problems of case selection include delineating the relevant universe of cases and drawing a representative sample of them—for instance, the universe of known cases may not be representative of all actual cases.

Measurement problems include taking into account events that cannot be observed, such as closed negotiations or unpublicized mediation efforts. Key inference problems are raised by the lack of adequate comparison situations and the need to compare actual events with imagined, or counterfactual, ones; the need to take into account the effects of other events that occur at the same time as the intervention; the need to consider indirect effects of the interventions; and the need to sort out the overlapping and conflicting effects of the multiple efforts that are often made to resolve a conflict.

The authors then consider ways of meeting these challenges.

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With regard to the conceptual challenges, they emphasize the importance of clear definitions and taxonomies of intervention types and of conceptual frameworks that link concepts together and generate hypotheses about the conditions under which interventions have particular consequences over a short and longer span of time.

With regard to sampling, suggestions are made to carefully develop purposive sampling frames guided by theory as an alternative to the sort of random sampling that only has meaning in the context of a specified universe of cases.

The chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the main available systematic methods of making inferences: experiments including quasi-experiments and simulations, multivariate analysis, and enhanced case study methods such as the approach of structured and focused case comparison.

The authors reach three important conclusions. First, they conclude that theory development, including taxonomies and hypotheses about. Second, a dialogue between theory and experience, with progress in each leading to refinements in the other, is the best route to improved understanding. Many of the substantive studies in Chapters 3 through 14 take up the challenges defined in Chapter 2 , making new contributions to knowledge by clarifying concepts; defining types of interventions; stating explicit hypotheses about causes, effects, and causal mechanisms; defining outcome indicators; and so forth.

In this respect these chapters may be previews of the directions that the field is likely to take during the first decade of the new millennium. Below, we briefly summarize the topics and findings of the 12 substantive studies in this book. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the studies; rather, they are intended as a guide to the reader.

We group the summaries under the four strategies of conflict resolution previously identified: traditional diplomacy and power politics, conflict transformation, structural prevention, and normative change. This classification is artificial in some cases because some conflict resolution approaches employ more than one of these strategies.

For example, truth commissions may promote conflict transformation while also recommending structural prevention measures. These complexities are mentioned below and are more evident in the chapters that follow. Chapters 3 through 6 assess conflict resolution techniques strongly rooted in traditional diplomacy. Chapter 3 , for example, focuses on the use and threat of force. It examines the limited ability of the United States, despite its military dominance in the post-Cold War era, to achieve diplomatic objectives through threats of force and limited exemplary uses of force.

Barry Blechman and Tamara Cofman Wittes explain this paradox of power by identifying a number of conditions that, although neither necessary or sufficient for the success of a U. Blechman and Wittes examine eight major post-Cold War cases: Panama — , Iraq — , Somalia — , Macedonia — , Bosnia — , Haiti — , Korea — , and Taiwan To a large extent they find that the enabling conditions were present in those cases in which U. The authors go beyond this correlation to suggest how the enabling conditions operated to produce the outcomes in the eight cases.

The authors draw three noteworthy conclusions from their case analyses. First is the critical importance of how much is demanded of the target.

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The greater the demand made, the greater the reluctance to comply. Thus, in six of seven cases of success the demand made was a relatively modest one—compliance was relatively easy.

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A second finding was that coupling threats with positive incentives for compliance increased success. Positive incentives were employed in six of seven success cases. A third important lesson concerned the degree of public support for the policy in the United States. Potent threats are harder to sustain because they imply greater risks, triggering the U. This aversion, seen as a legacy of the Vietnam War, constrains American presidents from making threats that are sufficiently credible and potent to achieve ambitious objectives.

The authors conclude that, as long as this situation continues, the targets of U. The findings of this study suggest these possible implications for U. In this situation the authors suggest that U. In Chapter 4 , Bruce Jentleson evaluates the success or failure of efforts.

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The chapter clarifies several conceptual and methodological issues and identifies lessons drawn from a comprehensive assessment of experience with economic sanctions. His analysis reinforces the findings of previous writers on deterrence and coercive diplomacy, including Blechman and Wittes in Chapter 3 , that the task of deterrence is easier than the task of compellence and that the success of sanctions, either for deterrence or coercive diplomacy, depends on the threat being perceived by the target as sufficiently potent to induce it to accept the demands on it. Again, as in earlier studies, Jentleson finds that the stronger the demand, the more credible and more potent the threat must be to achieve compliance.

Mitigating Conflict: The Role of NGOs, 1st Edition (Paperback) - Routledge

The crucial components of strategy design are the definition of objectives, the targeting strategy, measures for sanctions enforcement, and the broader policy of which sanctions are a part. Proceeding from this framework, Jentleson assesses whether and how the post-Cold War environment has affected the efficacy of sanctions.

In other respects it is more problematic to tap that efficacy. Consequently, unilateral U.

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The threat of serious Western collective action in pursuing sanctions is vital to the sanctions being sufficiently credible and formidable to elicit compliance. Jentleson advocates that U. With regard to sanctions strategy, Jentleson emphasizes the greater potential efficacy of comprehensive and decisive sanctions over partial and incremental ones and the need to take enforcement more seriously, both to reduce leaks in sanctions and to buttress credibility. Stedman examined the activities of spoilers in several recent conflicts and drew the lesson that it is important to distinguish between different types of spoilers.

As noted above, it is important for policy makers in dealing with conflict situations to have a correct image of the adversary. Stedman presents an analysis of types of spoilers that can be used to classify spoilers and judge how best to interact with them in order to advance the peace processes they may try to derail.

He provides practitioners with a framework that can assist them in classifying future spoilers and with propositions that lead to advice on how to proceed once the spoiler has been correctly classified. Stedman also discusses the difficulty and uncertainty involved in correctly classifying spoilers. In Chapter 6 , I. Ripeness focuses attention on the timing rather than the substance of proposals for conflict settlement.