Why PA-X Matters: Introducing the Peace Agreements Access Tool

In this short post, University of Edinburgh Law School Postdoctural Researcher, Kathryn Nash, outlines the relevance of PA-X, how it has shaped PSRP research to date, and how you can use tool.

The PA-X Peace Agreements Database launched on 20 February 2018.  PA-X is the largest dataset of its kind to date, containing more than 1500 agreements from over 140 peace processes between 1990 and 2015.  PA-X was created for academics and policymakers as part of the PSRP.  It can be used by mediators seeking to understand how compromise has been crafted in past processes, civil society and policy actors seeking to influence peace processes, and academics undertaking both quantitative and qualitative research.

Prior to its official launch, PA-X was used by researchers at the Political Settlements Research Programme to produce cutting-edge research. The PRSP Report Navigating Inclusion in Peace Settlements highlights the difficulties of using peace settlements to address underlying causes of conflict while also making concrete observations about the best entry points during processes to address human rights and create a more inclusive political order. Additionally, researchers have produced several case studies on peace processes in specific countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, and Egypt.

Users can search agreements in PA-X by region, country, agreement name, or agreement content. The database allows users to search for agreements with provisions from over 200 subcategories, such as gender, power-sharing, or justice reform.  It is designed to make peace agreements easily accessible for academics conducting research or policymakers searching for example provisions.

You can watch a video detailing the PA-X search capabilities below, and you can download the complete codebook here.




After you explore our database, we invite feedback, comments, suggestions, and ideas that would help us make the next version even better. We are particularly interested to hear if there are any documents that you think should be part of PA-X, or if you find that there is scope for cooperation. We would also like to know if the PA-X data are being used in other research projects, or if they have inspired similar endeavours.

Get in touch at PoliticalSettlements@ed.ac.uk, send us a Tweet @PolSettlements, post on our Facebook page @PolSettlements, and follow #paxfax on Twitter for facts from our data.