Methods Used to Deal with Peace Process Spoilers
The conflicts of the past three decades have shown that the major problems which peace processes face are the spoilers. Spoilers are warring parties and their leaders who believe that peaceful settlement of disputes threatens their interests, power and their reputation; therefore, they use all means to undermine or completely spoil the process. Spoilers of peace processes can be inside or outside of the process and are characterized as limited, greedy or total spoilers. Their motives for spoiling can be different, such as: political, financial, ethnic, security, etc. Furthermore, it is important to emphasise that spoilers are not only rebels and insurgents, but can often be governments, diasporas, warlords, private military companies, etc.
In order to counteract the spoilers, the international community has adopted and implemented three methods: inducement, socialization and coercion. Often all three methods are used to convince the spoilers to negotiate, accept and implement peace agreements. Hence, this paper will examine the methods used to deal with peace process spoilers through an assessment of the strategies employed, impact, success and failures.
This paper will also argue that the success or failure of the peace process depends on the method(s) used to deal with spoilers. If the right method is chosen, with a persistent engagement of the international community, the peace process will be successful; on the contrary, if they fail to do so, the consequences will be devastating.
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