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Why Peace Fails: The Causes and Prevention of Civil War Recurrence

Why Peace Fails: The Causes and Prevention of Civil War Recurrence (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Why does peace fail? More precisely, why do some countries that show every sign of having successfully emerged from civil war fall once again into armed conflict? What explains why peace "sticks" after some wars but not others? In this illuminating study, Charles T. Call examines the factors behind fifteen cases of civil war recurrence in Africa, Asia, the Caucasus, and Latin America. He argues that widely touted explanations of civil war - such as poverty, conflict over natural resources, and weak states - are far less important than political exclusion. Call's study shows that inclusion of former opponents in postwar governance plays a decisive role in sustained peace. "Why Peace Fails" ultimately suggests that the international community should resist the temptation to prematurely withdraw resources and peacekeepers after a transition from war. Instead, international actors must remain fully engaged with postwar elected governments, ensuring that they make room for former enemies.

Charles T. Call is an assistant professor in the School of International Studies at American University. He was previously a senior fellow at the US Institute of Peace and is the editor of Building States to Build Peace and Constructing Security and Justice after War. He has conducted research in Afghanistan, West Africa, Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti, Colombia, Chechnya, and Central America.

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