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Ending Ethnic War: The South Asian Experience

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Underscoring the linkage between war strategies and peace processes in seven ethnic wars in the South Asian region, this article examines the conditions under which two wars have ended in military victory, another two in negotiated settlement and the remaining three wars still continue. War strategies of the South Asian governments have effectively combined military tactics with a wide range of political measures to strengthen war processes that, in turn, determine the result of peace processes. This article finds that the pattern of ending a war or its effective prolongation is determined by the nature of power relations between the adversaries, which is factored into the level of mobilization of support in the society, structural cohesion of rebel groups, patterns of goal setting, and the nature of rebel leadership and its commitment to the declared goal.


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