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Title: The theory and practice of interconnected third-party conflict resolution : explaining the failure of the peace process in Rwanda, 1990-1994.
Author: Jones, Bruce David.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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New approaches to third-party conflict resolution stress the significance of the interconnections between the interventions of various external actors. Recent empirical and policy-onented work on civil wars underscores the recurrent policy challenges such external actors face in peace processes. Taken together, the two bodies of work provide a framework for assessing the impact of international conflict resolution efforts. The thesis explores the connections between different third-party conflict resolution efforts that accompanied the Rwandan civil war, from 1990 to 1994, and assesses the individual and collective impact they had on the course of that conflict. Empirical chapters, arranged chronologically, review pre-negotiation efforts, mediation processes, and both diplomatic and peacekeeping efforts to secure the implementation of a peace agreement signed in August 1993. This review considers official and unofficial efforts by both state and non-state actors. Applying the framework to the empirical material, the thesis explores a seeming paradox: that the genocide that engulfed Rwanda in 1994 was preceded by a wide range of international efforts to contain and manage what started off as a small-scale civil war. The thesis dispels the conventional wisdom that nothing was done to prevent the genocide in Rwanda. Rather, it provides empirical and theoretical evidence that the failure of the peace process was not a function of the weakness of any one third-party effort, but of the paucity of the connections between them. In so doing, the thesis generates further insights into the critical role—and current weakness—of co-ordinating elements in peace processes. The thesis then highlights the theoretical implications of the case study. First, it confirms the significance of interconnections between third-party interventions, and adds detail as to the various positive and negative forms those interconnections may take. Second, it highlights the fact that recurrent obstacles to conflict resolution in civil wars may arise not only from the nature of the wars themselves, but also from the nature of third-party intervenors. Thus, it suggests a shift in emphasis both for empirical and theoretical investigation onto intervening actors, and in particular the systems and processes that co-ordinate and organise their efforts—or fail to do so. The central arguments of the thesis serve as a cautionary tale about the limits of third-party conflict resolutrnn, and as an argument for systematic reform of the international system for managing third-party interventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Genocide; War; Peacekeeping; United Nations Political science Public administration