Conflict parties in divided societies often have negative past experiences of interacting with each other. They usually do not have a history of cooperation or reciprocal compromise, rather there may have been atrocities committed by both sides or long-standing patterns of discrimination. This deficit of trust inhibits parties from reaching and implementing peace agreements. Even where the parties feel that the provisions within a peace accord are preferable to continued violence they may not trust that the accord will endure, each conflict party not trusting the others to uphold their commitments.

This paper focuses on peace agreements which include an element of territorial self-government (TSG). Using international examples including Northern Ireland and Bosnia this paper demonstrates that a lack of trust between conflict parties necessitated the inclusion of a range of guarantee mechanisms which increased confidence that the TSG element of the peace agreement would be respected. These guarantees include international guarantees, both hard and soft, domestic guarantees provided in constitutional, special or ordinary domestic legislation, and arbitration and coordination committees.

Speaker: Dr Dawn Walsh (University of Birmingham)

Dawn Walsh is currently an Irish Research Council-Marie Curie Elevate post-doctoral fellow. This fellowship will involve carrying out research at the University of Birmingham with Prof Stefan Wolff and at DCU with Dr John Doyle. This research examines the use of complex power-sharing institutions in post-conflict societies including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Macedonia, Moldova and Burundi. Her research interests also include a wide range of conflict resolutions and post-conflict issues including the creation of innovative institutions to manage conflict, the implementation of peace agreements and the development of political parties in a post-conflict environment.

Recorded: 16 November 2015 (16:00-17:30)

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