Moving From Conflict: the Role of International Actors in Transition Management


This report reviews the types of international actors, types of support and priority sectors of international action. It concludes by offering some brief reflections on dilemmas and trade-offs related to the ownership, burden-sharing, coordination and sequencing of international action. The report emphasizes the duality of international support for transition management – both technical and political – underscoring the significant tensions and trade-offs between building short-term confidence in a political settlement, and addressing longer-term institutional reforms. The report concludes by highlighting the primacy of politics in transition management. The most constructive role for international partners has usually been to create space for negotiations and, in some cases, safety nets – fiscal and economic, security, human and social capacity, and/or political – to protect nascent political settlements from shocks and enable them to move forward.

This report draws on a wide number of examples of transitions and peace agreements from the PA-X Peace Agreements Database. It also draws on reflective practice-based case material, rather than a conceptual discussion or rigorous comparative analysis of a set of cases. As a grounding for the analysis, examples of transitions and responses are presented throughout.