Edited by Mara Olekalns and Wendi L. Adair
Each year around 30 armed conflicts are active around the world (Pettersson and Themnér, 2011). Some of these are likely to be settled via a more or less comprehensive peace agreement which is the result of negotiations between the main adversaries. In fact, after the end of the Cold War, the number of armed conflicts concluded by peace agreements has risen dramatically, with comprehensive peace agreements forming part of the war endings in Liberia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Aceh (Indonesia), Bangladesh, and Guatemala, to mention only a few locations. Parallel to these developments, research on peace negotiations has burgeoned. This chapter provides an overview of research on peace negotiations, focusing primarily on negotiations conducted between states (to end international wars and armed conflicts) and within states (to end internal armed conflicts and civil wars). Peace negotiations are defined as a process of dialogue and bargaining between adversaries aimed at reaching a joint decision to bring an end to or solve a violent conflict. Research on the initiation, process and outcome of peace negotiations has emerged as a sub-field of inquiry within peace and conflict research. It draws on general insights from negotiations that occur in other arenas, but is also concerned with the specific conditions underpinning negotiation to end violent conflict.
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