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Soft Intervention and the Transformation of Militias into Political Parties

Soft Intervention and the Transformation of Militias into Political Parties

Chapter:
(p.145) Seven Soft Intervention and the Transformation of Militias into Political Parties
Source:
Strengthening Peace in Post-Civil War States
Author(s):
Terrence Lyons
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226351261.003.0007

This chapter examines the potential role of soft intervention in transforming the armed groups once engaged in civil war violence into entities supportive of peace. Considering several cases at the critical moment immediately following the signing of a settlement, it assesses the degree of success associated with efforts to change militias organized for the promotion of violence into political parties organized to engage in peaceful political competition. It argues that this is a crucial step in the peace process because demilitarizing political actors limits their capacity to derail the peace process. It notes that in certain cases tactics of soft intervention played an important role in efforts to either reward or punish domestic political actors who had an influence over the peace process.

Keywords:   civil wars, soft interventions, political parties, militias

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