Dynamics of interplay between third-party interveners and national factions in civil war peace negotiations : case studies on Cambodia and El Salvador
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This thesis examines the processes of the peace negotiations in Cambodia (1987-1993) and El Salvador (1989-1993) in order to address the following question: What does the interplay between the national factions and the external interveners in peace negotiations tell us about their chances of achieving their goals? By using the concept of ‘interplay,’ this study reinterprets the negotiation processes as the negotiating actors’ exchanges of strategic moves. In particular, it explores how the negotiating actors’ attitudes towards the core negotiation issues changed in the two cases and how the changes affected their counterparts’ negotiating strategies. There are two aspects to the findings of this thesis, one descriptive and the other explanatory. First, this study has investigated the characteristics of the negotiating actors’ strategies and the pattern of the interplay between them. As for the interveners’ strategies, this thesis finds that impartial third parties generally employ diplomatic intervention methods, while advocate states enjoy a wider range of options. In addition, national factions’ behaviour is generally affected by three factors: their fundamental goals, the domestic resources under their control, and the incentives or pressure from external interveners. It is also observed that the stronger the intervention becomes, the more that national factions’ provisional strategies are inclined to be receptive towards the intervention. Nevertheless, the national factions rarely fully accepted proposals that they deemed harmful to the achievement of their fundamental goals. Second, based on the descriptive findings, this thesis highlights the importance of mutual understanding between national factions and external interveners. The case studies of Cambodia and El Salvador show that the effectiveness of a particular intervention depends not so much on the type of method employed but on the context in which it is applied. An intervention is more likely to be effective when it is used in a way that national factions can understand and is supported by the consistently strong attention of external interveners. In addition, it is observed that actors’ ethnocentric perceptions on core concepts of conflict and negotiation as well as their lack of an effective communication capability are some of the common causes of the misunderstandings that arise during negotiation processes.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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