Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Ending Civil Wars: The Implementation of Peace Agreements

Stephen John Stedman, Donald Rothchild, and Elizabeth M. Cousens, editors
Ending Civil Wars: The Implementation of Peace Agreements
ISBN: 978-1-58826-058-1
ISBN: 978-1-58826-083-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-580-2
2003/729 pages/LC: 2002017817
A project of the International Peace Institute and the Center for International Security and Cooperation

"An excellent book that cumulates and advances theory while it offers policy relevant findings and recommendations.... A remarkable publication."—Thomas Ohlson, International Studies Review

"A model of rigorous analysis that yields usable—if sobering—knowledge."—Foreign Affairs


Why do some peace agreements successfully end civil wars, while others fail? What strategies are most effective in ensuring that warring parties comply with their treaty commitments? Of the various tasks involved in implementing peace agreements, which are the most important? These and related questions—life and death issues for millions of people today—are the subject of Ending Civil Wars.

Based on a study of every intrastate war settlement between 1980 and 1998 in which international actors played a key role, Ending Civil Wars is the most comprehensive, systematic study to date of the implementation of peace agreements—of what happens after the treaties are signed. Covering both broad strategies and specific tasks and presenting a wealth of rich case material, the authors find that failure most often is related not only to the inherent difficulty of a particular case, but also to the major powers' perception that they have no vital security interest in ending a civil war.


Stephen John Stedman is senior research fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University. The late Donald Rothchild was professor of political science at the University of California, Davis. Elizabeth M. Cousens is chief of staff for the UN Mission in Nepal.


  • Introduction—S.J. Stedman.
  • Evaluation Issues in Peace Implementation—G. Downs and S.J. Stedman.
  • Strategy and Transnational Authority—M. Doyle.
  • The Challenges of Strategic Coordination—B.D. Jones.
  • Settlement Terms and Postagreement Stability—D. Rothchild.
  • Demobilization and Disarmament—J. Spear.
  • Economic Priorities for Successful Peace Implementation—S.L. Woodward.
  • The Role of Postsettlement Elections—T. Lyons.
  • Human Rights and Sustainable Peace—T.L. Putnam.
  • Refugee Repatriation—H. Adelman.
  • Civilian Security—C.T. Call and W. Stanley.
  • Building Local Capacity: From Implementation to Peacebuilding—J. Prendergast and E. Plumb.
  • Peace in Stages: The Role of an Implementation Regime in Nicaragua—C.A. Hartzell.
  • Assessing El Salvador's Transition from Civil War to Peace—C.T. Call.
  • Everyone Participates, No One is Responsible: Peace Implementation in Guatemala—W. Stanley and D. Holiday.
  • Implementing the Arusha Agreement on Rwanda—G.M. Khadiagala.
  • Implementing Cambodia's Peace Agreement: Challenges, Strategy, and Outcome—S. Peou.
  • From Missed Opportunities to Overcompensation: Implementing the Dayton Agreement on Bosnia—E.M. Cousens.
  • Peace By Unconventional Means: Lebanon's Ta'if Agreement—M-J. Zahar.
  • Liberia: A Warlord's Peace—A. Adebajo.
  • Flawed Mediation, Chaotic Implementation: The 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Peace Agreement—S. Bose.
  • Implementing Peace Agreements in Civil Wars: Findings and Recommendations—S.J. Stedman.