Introducing PA-X: A new peace agreement database and dataset

Authors: Christine Bell and Sanja Badanjak

This article introduces PA-X, a peace agreement database designed to improve understanding of negotiated pathways out of conflict. PA-X enables scholars, mediators, conflict parties and civil society actors to systematically compare how peace and transition processes formalize negotiated commitments in an attempt to move towards peace. PA-X provides an archive and comprehensive census of peace agreements using a broad definition to capture agreements at all phases of peace processes in both intrastate and interstate conflict, from 1990 to 2016. These comprise ceasefire, pre-negotiation, substantive (partial and comprehensive), and implementation agreements, disaggregated by country/entity, region, conflict type, agreement type and stage of agreement totalling over 1,500 agreements in more than 140 peace and transition processes. PA-X provides the full text of agreements, and qualitative and quantitative coding of 225 categories relating to politics, law, security, development and implementation. Data can be aggregated or merged with conflict datasets, effectively providing many datasets within one database. PA-X supports new comparative research on peace agreements, but also on peace processes – enabling tracing of how actors and issues change over time – to inform understandings of conflict termination.

We illustrate PA-X applications by showing that an intricate peace process history correlates with reduced likelihood of conflict recurrence, and that cumulative provisions addressing elections see the quality of subsequent post-conflict elections improve.