Mediation, Military, and Money: The Promises and Pitfalls of Outside Interventions to End Armed Conflicts
Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
Wars impose tremendous costs on societies and the question of how to end them is of foremost importance. Several hundred books and scientific articles have been written on peace agreements and third-party interventions. In this review article I provide a critical literature survey on what battery of policies foreign countries have at their disposal if they wish to foster peace abroad. Ranging from pure (non-militarized) mediation, over a range of military options to economic policies, the promises and pitfalls of these types of interventions are critically assessed in the light of the cutting-edge theoretical and empirical literature. A series of take-home messages emerge: i) establishing a causal effect of mediation has proven difficult, ii) military peace keeping operations can play a key role, to the extent that security guarantees, the sharing of political and military power and trust-building measures are well coordinated, iii) money matters—fostering human capital and economic opportunities contributes to fertile ground for lasting peace.