Peace Processes and Their Agreements

Authors: Christine Bell and Laura Wise

This chapter in Contemporary Peacemaking: Peace Processes, Peacebuilding and Conflict sets out how peace processes unfold and agreements are reached, drawing on a major quantitative and qualitative review of peace agreements in the post-Cold War era. It explores the function that formalized agreement plays in providing an exit from conflict, understanding how different types of agreements addressing diverse issues are used to move forward at various stages of a peace process, and at different levels of conflict. We argue that practices established in 1990 are now at a crossroads pointing to a new global realignment that affects who intervenes, why and to what end, and new forms of conflict. All of these factors challenge established peace process practices and the assumptions that underpin them. We point to “complex conflict systems” requiring multilevel peace processes across inter-related geopolitical, national and local conflicts, and suggest forms of adaptive management which are required to deal with the interactions between these levels.

This book chapter is part of Contemporary Peacemaking: Peace Processes, Peacebuilding and Conflict.