Explaining Variations in Regional Peace: Three Strategies for Peace-making

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The objective of this study is to examine the utility of three major mechanisms for regional conflict resolution. Two of the mechanisms are regional: enhancing regional legitimacy and liberalization. The third strategy is international: a concert of great powers or a stabilizing hegemon. The three strategies are deduced from the international-regional debate on the sources of regional war and peace, and also from the regional debate on democratization versus strengthening the state as the preferred strategy for generating regional peace and security. I will propose a solution to these debates by differentiating among three levels of regional peace, and relating each of the three strategies to a specific level of peace that it is expected to bring about. The pacifying value, as well as the disadvantages of the three mechanisms for regional peace, will be investigated by comparative illustrations from three regions: the Middle East, South America and Western Europe. The proposed theoretical framework will integrate the regional and international perspectives on regional peace by establishing causal linkages between different mechanisms for regional peace and the emergence of different levels of peace. I will argue that the international strategy can bring about only a relatively low level of peace (cold peace). However, cold peace can be conducive to the growing effectiveness of the regional strategies, starting from the regional legitimacy/state strength strategy resulting in normal peace. Normal peace, in turn, is conducive to liberalization and, as a result, to the emergence of the highest degree of peace-warm peace. The framework will provide an analytical tool for evaluating the current and future (short-term and long-term) progress in the Middle East peace process in comparison with past peace processes in South America and Western Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-192
Number of pages38
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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