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Research Report

When Do Civil-War Parties Heed the UN?: Findings from the IPI Security Council Compliance Database

Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2013
Pages: 34

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. i-ii)
  3. (pp. iii-iv)
  4. (pp. 1-1)
  5. (pp. 2-3)

    The end of the Cold War brought an unprecedented surge in efforts by the United Nations Security Council to prevent, manage, and resolve internal armed conflict. During the Cold War, the council generally refrained from engaging in civil war crisis management.¹ Then in the late 1980s, as the Cold War wound down, the council’s approach to civil war underwent a paradigm shift. This was most noticeable as a move from a general stance of noninterference in most instances of internal armed conflict to a more proactive policy of peacemaking and peacekeeping in a majority of civil wars. Most conspicuously this...

  6. (pp. 3-7)

    Between 1989 and 2003, the Security Council issued 2,403 demands to civil-war parties contained in 366 resolutions adopted in response to civil wars and addressed to 194 different actors. More than 64 percent, or 1,557, of these demands were aimed at past or present participants in armed conflict, what we term conflict parties. The IPI Security Council Compliance Database measures compliance only for these conflict parties. In this section we provide a brief description of this compliance data. Specifically, we describe how compliance varies by the type of addressee, how compliance changed over time, and how it varies by the...

  7. (pp. 7-16)

    The dynamics surrounding compliance with Security Council resolutions are complex and multifaceted. Conflict management strategies of multilateral actors such as the UN have varying degrees of success. As seen most recently in the examples of Syria and Libya, great power dynamics, the work of regional organizations, and other factors can also significantly impact the calculus of the warring factions on the ground. Many times, the Security Council is only providing legitimacy and momentum to a peace process already underway. As always, events on the ground that are out of the control of external actors can affect conflict dynamics for good...

  8. (pp. 16-17)

    The end of the Cold War brought an unprecedented surge in efforts by the UN Security Council to prevent, manage, and resolve civil wars. From 1989 to 2003, the Security Council deployed peace operations to more than two dozen countries experiencing civil war, imposed sanctions on numerous warring factions, established transitional administrations and international criminal tribunals, and adopted 827 resolutions in response to civil wars. While over this time the average level of compliance with council demands varied, there was a slight increase in compliance due to a variety of factors.

    This study theorized that the conflict ecology, the UN...

  9. (pp. 18-27)
  10. (pp. 28-28)