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Negotiating peace agreements: elite bargaining and ethnic conflict regulation in Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine

Deane, Shelley M. (2004) Negotiating peace agreements: elite bargaining and ethnic conflict regulation in Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis argues that negotiated peace agreements to regulate ethnic conflicts need to be understood as a process of within-bloc as well as between-bloc elite bargaining. The proposition advanced here is that the nature of the agreement depends upon the dynamics within each respective ethnic bloc. The theoretical framework of the thesis entails a shift in the conceptual paradigm for viewing ethnic blocs as unitary actors. Rather than viewing ethnic blocs as unitary actors (like nation-states), it argues that in the fluid dynamics of divided societies ethnic blocs consist of an area in which there is a constellation of factions that seek to exercise a monopoly of legitimate power and compete for control over the bloc's population. The nature of within-bloc competition shapes elite incentives and preferences in negotiating an inter-ethnic bargain. The nature of the bargain, whether a comprehensive maximal peace agreement or a limited minimal pact, is influenced by three important variables concerning the nature of ethnic blocs: (1) the configuration of within-bloc competition; (2) the tradition of elite accommodation; and (3) exogenous influence or dependence. Efforts towards the regulation of ethnic conflicts by negotiation between the respective conflict blocs are inclined to focus on minimal bargains to resolve threats to the leadership of the negotiating elites from within their ethnic bloc rather than comprehensive conflict regulation. The fractious nature of ethnic blocs dominates elite incentives to achieve inter-ethnic peace. The typology of three organisational dimensions which influence elite bargaining outcomes advanced in the thesis - ethnic-bloc configuration, elite accommodation, and external resource dependence - is established to highlight the effect of institutional, structural, and procedural ethnic-bloc dynamics on the respective elites negotiating positions and on the nature of the agreement reached. The typology is applied to four negotiated peace agreements reached in the Israeli-Palestinian and Northern Ireland cases. Subsequent chapters provide an analysis of the internal ethnic bloc determinants and factional competition on inter-ethnic elite bargaining. By considering the factors that led to minimal and maximal agreements, the study illustrates the transformative potential of inter-ethnic elite negotiation and the influence of institutional innovation on the nature of the agreement reached.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2004 Shelley M. Deane
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: O'Leary, Brendan

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