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Peacemaking from Above, Peace from BelowEnding Conflict between Regional Rivals$
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Norrin M. Ripsman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702471

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702471.001.0001

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Regional Stabilization in International Relations Theory

Regional Stabilization in International Relations Theory

(p.18) Chapter 1 Regional Stabilization in International Relations Theory
Peacemaking from Above, Peace from Below

Norrin M. Ripsman

Cornell University Press

This chapter presents an overview of the different possible paths to peace between regional rivals. It begins with a discussion of the complexity of regional rivalries, complicated as they are by problems of insecurity, geographical proximity, and, frequently, by competing ideologies, religions, and historical grievances. It discusses a range of liberal and constructivist theories that imply that peacemaking should be most successful as a bottom-up process when key societal actors or society as a whole embrace conflict resolution for economic, political, or normative reasons and press their political leaders to negotiate peace. It considers Miller's state-to-nation balance theory as an additional bottom-up approach to regional peacemaking, which assumes that the creation of states for stateless nations or the reuniting of dispersed nations is necessary to overcome societal antagonism and make meaningful peace possible. It also examines a number of realist and statist theories that suggest that peacemaking should actually begin when states and their leaders recognize that their geostrategic interests or their personal interests in maintaining power and building viable state apparatuses require them to resolve their rivalry, even if society remains hostile. The chapter then presents the author's own hypothesis that peacemaking occurs due to statist motivations, both realist and state/regime survival varieties, but that the stability of peace agreements will depend on the degree to which the treaty achieves societal buy-in in the postagreement phase as a result of the use of liberal and constructivist mechanisms. In other words, peacemaking should be top-down, but the sources of stability should depend on mechanisms derived from bottom-up approaches.

Keywords:   peace, regional peacemaking, regional rivals, state-to-nation balance theory, peace agreements, top-down approach, bottom-up approach

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