Advancing The Veto-Player Framework : A Study Of The Conditions Under Which Fragmentation Influences The Likelihood Of A Peace Agreement

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning

Abstract: Recent research has recognised the complexity of fragmented conflicts; however, debate exists regarding when and how fragmentation hinders peace processes. This study addresses this lacuna, by investigating the conditions under which fragmentation affects the likelihood of a peace agreement. Advancing Cunningham’s (2011) veto-player framework with insights from political parties’ literature, creating a novel causal mechanism, I argue that two conditions affect how fragmentation influences the likelihood of a peace agreement: veto players and outbidding. As veto players can ‘veto’ a peace agreement, a reduction in their number increases the likelihood of a settlement. Where fragmentation increases veto-players, I hypothesise that whether a peace agreement is likely or not, depends on the level of preference divergence, which is dependent on their engagement in outbidding. The hypotheses are tested through a qualitative structured-focused comparison approach, examining the cases of the Philippines (1990-1996), Uganda (1986-1988), Ethiopia (1973-1983), and Afghanistan (1980-1990). Overall, this thesis finds mixed support. Limited support is found for the hypotheses, with half of the cases concurring with expectations. However, the cases also reveal significant support for the mechanisms, although with qualifications, suggesting further refinement is required. 

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