Identity concessions and peace stability
Lesley Ann Daniels (IBEI)
Civil wars are increasingly fought over identity - the activation of group demands is an effective lever for mobilizing violence. It would therefore seem intuitive that the satisfaction of demands for identity rights, such as language rights or a specific legal regime, would contribute to a stable peace. While research has looked at the impact of political and military reform, there has been little research to date on the impact of concessions around identity demands. This research examines whether the inclusion of such features in a negotiated settlement reduces the risk of a return to violence. The proposed mechanism is through “draining the sea”, since granting identity rights wins the hearts and minds of the public. Group recognition satisfies such emotional requirements as dignity and respect and develops a sense of inclusion essential for democratic legitimacy. The study focuses on dyadic conflicts fought over ethnic aims from 1975 and 2013 and examines when identity rights are included in a peace agreement and under what conditions the satisfaction of identity demands can impact on peace stability.
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Lesley Ann Daniels is currently an AXA Research Fund post-doctoral fellow and her current research is on "Minority rights and the stability of post-conflict environments". She defended her doctoral thesis on the use of amnesty during civil wars at the Pompeu Fabra University in 2016. Prior to her doctorate, she worked for the EU Peace and Reconciliation Programme in Northern Ireland. Her research interests are political violence, civil wars, post-conflict peacebuilding, transitional justice and identity rights.