Interstate Agreements to End Intrastate Conflicts


Author: Kathryn Nash

Interstate peace agreements are widely used to resolve international conflicts between states. However, interstate agreements are used even more frequently to resolve violent conflict within states (intrastate conflict). The role of interstate agreements in ending intrastate conflict has received little attention but, increasingly, intrastate conflicts require multi-level peace processes capable of dealing with overlapping national and international conflict-related interests. This PA-X report examines interstate agreements that have been used to resolve internal conflict using a global dataset (PA-X Peace Agreement Database).


Interstate agreements are an important tool in resolving intrastate conflict and can be used to address:

  • the termination of outside state support to parties to the conflict;
  • third party state commitments to collaborate with each other to support resolution of the conflict, including documenting agreement reached between the parties through robust forms of internationalised mediation;
  • wider interstate disputes or past enmities that are implicated in what has ended up as an intrastate conflict;
  • or simply to contain an intrastate conflict out of self-interest in terms of stability, for example because of influxes of people or movement of military actors are affecting neighbouring or regional states, or international peace itself.