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Rights and Reconciliation: UN Strategies in El Salvador

Ian Johnstone
ISBN: 978-1-55587-615-9
1995/104 pages/LC: 95-4614
International Peace Institute Occasional Paper Series
"Johnstone's book on the peace settlement is a valuable beginning to much-needed research on what factors determine the success or failure of peace settlements in civil war."—T. David Mason, Latin American Research Review


Using El Salvador as an example of the UN's recent multidimensional peacekeeping operations, Johnstone explores the delicate balance between the potentially conflicting goals of peace and justice.

Johnstone challenges the view that these twin goals are incompatible, attributing the relative (though still incomplete) success of the Salvadoran peace process to the mutually reinforcing relationship between them. He argues that ONUSAL's verification of the existing human rights situation, as well as investigations of past violations and support for institutional reforms, are breakthroughs for United Nations peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peace building. Finally, he highlights lessons from the strategies employed in managing the political and institutional transformations that ended El Salvador's brutal twelve-year conflict.


Ian Johnstone is assistant professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He is author of Aftermath of the Gulf War: An Assessment of UN Action.