Resolution of local conflicts involving armed Islamists: the Syrian civil war, 20112021

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European Centre for Minority Issues, Flensburg, Germany

Resolution of local conflicts involving armed Islamists: the Syrian civil war, 20112021
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 58-75
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-58-75

Abstract. In the 2010s, violent Islamist actors have become increasingly involved in intrastate armed conflicts, but little is known about how these conflicts can be resolved. Previous studies have found that negotiations are less likely to be successful in resolving armed conflicts that involve violent Islamists. Ceasefires are another tool of conflict resolution related to negotiation that may be reached before, during, or after the negotiation process. This article investigates the conditions for reaching ceasefire agreements with Islamist armed groups in Syria by expanding the author’s earlier dataset, codifying the data, and using logistic regression analysis to test three main hypotheses. From 2011 to 2021, 141 local ceasefire agreements were reached in 190 distinct locations during the Syrian ivil war, comprising about half of the agreements reached with Islamist armed actors. The finding is that such actors were more receptive to a ceasefire if the drafting of agreements prioritized (a) humanitarian considerations above tactical ones and (b) gradual implementation as opposed to immediate. Long-lasting sieges, fighting exhaustion, and the associated public pressure on combatants may further explain why humanitarian incentives are motivating for agreements. The gradual pace of implementation might be attributed to efforts made to create confidence. In contrast, as anticipated by earlier studies, the involvement of third parties does not significantly explain a relationship to achieve a ceasefire with these armed actors.

Keywords: ivil war, local ceasefires, violent Islamism, transnational jihadism, conflict management, mediation, humanitarian aspects, Syria


About author

Doğukan Cansın Karakuş (Turkey) is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), Flensburg, Germany.


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Karakuş D. Resolution of local conflicts involving armed Islamists: the Syrian civil war, 20112021 // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 58-75. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-58-75



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