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Negotiating with Insurgents: Changing Perceptions or Changing Politics?

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image of International Negotiation

Abstract High costs have long been seen as motivating conflict participants to seek peace. This article discusses two types of deviations from the “hurting-stalemate” logic: negotiations in the absence of high costs and non-negotiation in the face of high costs. Two prominent explanations for these deviations are discussed and evaluated, initially through a statistical analysis of peace overtures in intrastate conflicts and then through a case study of the Indian civil war in Kashmir. The results suggest that theoretical explanations focusing on the preferences and political strength of leaders have traction at all levels of violence. Variables associated with shifts in perception, such as leadership change or political shocks, seem to have different effects as the level of violence in a conflict changes.

Affiliations: 1: College of Business and Public Administration Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of North Dakota Gamble Hall Room 265, 293 Centennial Drive, Stop 8379, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8379 USA


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