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Securing the Peace:
The Durable Settlement of Civil Wars
Monica Duffy Toft

Paperback | 2009 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691141466
248 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 3 halftones. 3 line illus. 14 tables.
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Timely and pathbreaking, Securing the Peace is the first book to explore the complete spectrum of civil war terminations, including negotiated settlements, military victories by governments and rebels, and stalemates and ceasefires. Examining the outcomes of all civil war terminations since 1940, Monica Toft develops a general theory of postwar stability, showing how third-party guarantees may not be the best option. She demonstrates that thorough security-sector reform plays a critical role in establishing peace over the long term.

Much of the thinking in this area has centered on third parties presiding over the maintenance of negotiated settlements, but the problem with this focus is that fewer than a quarter of recent civil wars have ended this way. Furthermore, these settlements have been precarious, often resulting in a recurrence of war. Toft finds that military victory, especially victory by rebels, lends itself to a more durable peace. She argues for the importance of the security sector--the police and military--and explains that victories are more stable when governments can maintain order. Toft presents statistical evaluations and in-depth case studies that include El Salvador, Sudan, and Uganda to reveal that where the security sector remains robust, stability and democracy are likely to follow.

An original and thoughtful reassessment of civil war terminations, Securing the Peace will interest all those concerned about resolving our world's most pressing conflicts.


"Overall, the author develops a compelling argument and presents clear causal mechanisms that help explain what differentiates those civil wars that reoccur from those that do not. . . . Securing the Peace provides a thorough and engrossing look at the causes of post-conflict stability and has original and important implications for both empirical research and policymaking."--Richard Frank, Political Science Quarterly

"In her provocative study, Toft examines the outcomes of all civil war terminations since 1940 with the goal of developing a general theory of post-civil-war stability."--Choice

"Securing the Peace offers an analysis that is as bold as it is persuasive. Toft teaches us that negotiated settlement should not be treated as the default option for resolving civil wars. Scholars and policymakers will find this to be a lucid, compelling, and important lesson. Peacemakers, who may inadvertently prolong the very wars they seek to resolve, will ignore this warning at their peril."--Ron E. Hassner, Perspectives on Politics


"Using comprehensive data on internal conflicts, Toft challenges the flawed assumptions driving international peacemaking diplomacy and peacekeeping operations, which sadly may be prolonging civil wars instead of ending them. This provocative and politically incorrect book ought to stimulate a long-needed debate over the efficacy of current approaches to ending conflicts."--Andrew Natsios, Georgetown University

"This well-researched book makes an incredibly important contribution to our understanding of civil war termination and recurrence. While we have known for some time that military victory leads to more decisive and lasting cessations of violence, it was not clear why. Toft addresses these questions and persuasively demonstrates that the key to long-lasting peace lies in the reform of the security sector."--Stephen Saideman, McGill University

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Table of Contents:

List of Tables and Illustrations ix
Preface xi
Chapter 1. Introduction: Civil War Termination in Historical
and Theoretical Context 1
Chapter 2. Civil War Termination in Perspective 19
Chapter 3. Securing the Peace: Mutual Benefi t, Mutual Harm 39
Chapter 4. Statistical Analysis of War Recurrence and Longer- Term Outcomes 53
Chapter 5. El Salvador: A Successful Negotiated Settlement 70
Chapter 6. Uganda: Rebel Victory Begets Stability 96
Chapter 7. The Republic of Sudan: A Collapsed Negotiated Settlement 116
Chapter 8. The Republic of Sudan: Prospects for Peace 130
Chapter 9. Conclusion 150
Appendix 163
Notes 175
Bibliography 207
Index 223

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