Does Time Matter? Looking for Patterns Of Timing, Sequencing and Synergy in Peacebuilding Processes




Teeple, Elissa

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With civil war recurrence, interpreted as peacebuilding failure, at an all-time high, research that explores factors related to the effectiveness of peacebuilding has become critical. An emerging field of inquiry asks whether the timing, sequencing, or synergistic effects of peacebuilding processes may play a role in civil war recurrence. Peacebuilding is often evaluated in terms of whether a critical event or `benchmark' is achieved, but quantitative analysis of relationship of the timing and sequencing of such events to peacebuilding success has only recently begun. Prior research has explored the timing, sequencing, and synergistic effects of a few specific peacebuilding benchmarks, but no comprehensive analysis has been conducted of the larger set of events that can be considered to be peacebuilding's repertoire. This research makes two primary contributions to the knowledge of peacebuilding processes. It is the first quantitative research that examines temporal relationships among many rather than a few peacebuilding benchmarks. Representing the first phase of a comprehensive look at the timing, sequencing and synergy of peacebuilding processes, this research limited its scope to temporal relationships among political and security-related events. Further development of the project will incorporate processes of economic change. Second, the dataset created for the research, the Peacebuilding Events Time Series dataset, may be valuable resource for future quantitative exploration of peacebuilding processes. General findings suggest that while many peacebuilding benchmarks (comprehensive peace agreements, amnesties, new constitutions, DDR) do have an effect on peacebuilding success, the timing and sequencing of such events do not have an effect on peacebuilding success. Other results suggest that the time from the cessation of violent to the first peacetime election does not play a role in civil war recurrence. This contradicts other findings in the literature, but appears to be a result of the use of different datasets and operational criteria. Constitutional amendments, passed at any time in the peacetime period have a surprising positive relationship with peacebuilding success, suggesting that gradual changes to political structures may be more effective than the "fresh starts" of new constitutions.



Peace studies, International relations, Civil war, Constitution, Election, Peacebuilding