How does Terrorism End? A case study analysis of the MILF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front

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How does Terrorism End?

A case study analysis of the MILF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Master thesis

Thijmen Robert Hamer s1610481

Crisis and Security Management

Leiden University

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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ABSTRACT

This Master thesis describes the case of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its struggle for

independence. The conflict between the MILF and the government of the republic of the Philippines

(GRP) that stretched from ca 1980 to 2014 was used to answer the question “How does terrorism

end through a political process?” This case was first placed into a historical context. Then, different

lenses (State, group and context) were applied to the case that was divided into four distinctive

phases. This relied on four important theoretical concepts derived from literature. These are: greed

and grievance, spoiler roles, negotiation strategies and protracted social conflict. This led to the

following main findings:

The main reason why the MILF could continue the Moro struggle after the MNLF had agreed to peace, was the continuance of the Moro grievances.

An acknowledgment by the government that the MILF was here to stay, opened up the possibility of negotiations.

Militarization and internationalization of the conflict was detrimental to any peace, and served as a clear spoiler.

Separating the radical terrorist elements from the more moderate rebels and international oversight was crucial for creating conditions for substantive and serious negotiations.

Small steps in the negotiation process work better than comprehensive deals.

A convergence or inclusive strategy works better than a divisive and exclusive strategy.

A clear projection of the benefits of peace should be in place.

A stalemate which was not satisfactory for both parties but which they believed could only be changed by politics.

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Table of Contents

ABSTRACT ... 4

List of abbreviations ... 7

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ... 10

1.1. Introduction ... 10

1.2. General outline of this thesis ... 11

1.3. Literature review ... 11

1.3.1. Terrorism, a complex area of study ... 12

1.3.2. Observations from quantitative research ... 14

1.3.3. Asymmetrical conflicts: causes and dynamics ... 17

1.3.4. Ending conflict non-violently ... 23

1.3.4.4 Using negotiations for other ends than peace ... 30

1.4. Research Design ... 31

1.4.1. Main theoretical considerations and strategies relevant to this case. ... 31

1.4.2. Framework of analysis ... 31

1.4.3 Method ... 32

1.4.4. Case selection ... 34

CHAPTER 2. THE CASE OF THE MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT ... 35

2.1. Historical background of the Moro-Philippine conflict. ... 35

2.1.1. Islamic and Christian colonization of the Philippines ... 35

2.1.2. American colonization: sowing the seeds for conflict ... 37

2.1.3. World War II, a period of reconciliation and Philippine independency ... 40

2.1.4. Filipino rule: from an uneasy peace to overt conflict, 1946-1996 ... 40

2.2. Starting negotiations and Estrada’s all-out war ... 47

2.2.1. Timeline of events ... 47

2.2.2. Context ... 49

2.2.3. State... 51

2.2.4. Group ... 54

2.2.5. Main observations ... 57

2.3. Arroyo and the global war on terror (2001-2005) ... 59

2.3.1. Timeline of events ... 59

2.3.2. Context ... 62

2.3.3. State... 67

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2.3.5. Main observations ... 73

2.4. Negotiations center around the topic of ancestral domain (2005-2010) ... 75

2.4.1. Timeline of events ... 75

2.4.2. Context ... 79

2.4.3. State... 83

2.4.4. Group ... 90

2.4.5. Main observations ... 92

2.5. New energy and building trust under Benigno Aquino (2010-2014) ... 94

2.5.1. Timeline of events ... 94

2.5.2. Context ... 96

2.5.3. State... 101

2.5.4. Group ... 104

2.5.5. Main observations ... 106

CHAPTER 3. UNDERSTANDING THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF THE MILF-PHILIPPINE PEACE PROCESS ... 108

3.1. Introduction ... 108

3.2. Different lens perspectives ... 108

3.3. Within-case comparison ... 109

3.4 Connections to theory ... 111

3.4.1. Greed and Grievance theory ... 111

3.4.2. Spoilers ... 114

3.4.3. Negotiation strategies and tactics ... 116

3.4.4. Protracted social conflict ... 119

3.5 Conclusions ... 120

3.6 Recommendations... 122

3.7 Reflection... 123

BIBLIOGRAPHY ... 125

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List of abbreviations

AFP Armed Forces of the Philippines

AHJAG Ad Hoc Joint Action Group

ARMM Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations

ASG Abu Sayyaf Group

BBL Bangsamoro Basic Law

BDA Bangsamoro Development Agency

BIAF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces

BIFF Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

BIMP-EAGA Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area

BJE Bangsamoro Juridical Entity

BMLO Bangsa Moro Liberation Front

BPE Bangsamoro Political Entity

CAB Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro

CAFGU Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit

CCCH Coordination Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities

CPLA Cordillera People’s Liberation Army

CPP Communist Party of the Philippines

CVO Civilian Voluntary Organization

EDSA Epifanio de los Santos Avenue

ETA Euskadi Ta Askatasuna

FAB Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro

FPA Final Peace Agreement

FTO Foreign Terrorist Organizations

GDP Gross Domestic Product

GRP Government of the Republic of the Philippines

ICFM Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers

ICG International Crisis Group

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8 IPRA Indigenous Peoples Rights Act

IRA (section 2.4.2) Irish Republican Army

IRA Internal Revenue Allotment

ISF International Security Forces (from the MILF)

JI Jemaah Islamiyah

KM Kabataan Makabayan (Communist youth wing)

LMT Local Monitoring Team

MIM Muslim (later Mindanao) Independence Movement

MIPT Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism

MILF Moro Islamic Liberation Front

MNLF Moro National Liberation Front

MOA-AD Memorandum of Agreement – Ancestral Domain

NATO North-Atlantic Treaty Organization

NDF National Democratic Front (part of Communist movement)

NGO Non-governmental organization

NISP National Internal Security Plan

NPA New People’s Army

NSBC Philippines Statistics Authority

OIC Organization of the Islamic Conference

OPAPP Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

PDAF Priority Development Assistance Fund

PDI Philippine Daily Inquirer

PLO Palestinian Liberation Organization

PNP Philippine National Police

PSC Protracted Social Conflict

RPM-P Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas (Communist)

RSM Rajah Solaiman Movement

SPCPD Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development

SZOPAD Special Zone of Peace and Development

UN United Nations

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USA United States of America

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1. Introduction

Terrorist groups are one the most pressing concerns for today’s society. Almost on a daily basis,

attacks happen somewhere in the world. Although casualties are deeply distressing, it is the fear that

these attacks cause that can disrupt society. The recent events in France 1and Belgium2 have shown

that complete cities can come to a standstill because of an attack.

The study of terrorism3 aims at building a theoretical and scientific foundation to understand

the rise and fall of terrorist groups. Since the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of

Terrorism (MIPT) started to collect and combine data about terrorist groups in 1968 until 2006, 648

groups have ended (Jones & Libicki, 2008). Scientists have devoted much time on explaining the rise

of terrorism, employing both quantitative and qualitative studies (see chapter 1.2). However, on the

ending of terrorism, information is scarce (Jones & Libicki, 2008),(Cronin, 2009). It is for this reason

that the case of the MILF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, is of particular interest.

The conflict between the separatist Muslim groups and the Government of the Republic of

the Philippines (GRP) is based on a fight for autonomy that has lasted for almost four decades (1969–

2014). If we broaden the scope to include all violent interactions throughout history, the conflict

between the Christian Filipino’s and the Muslim Filipino’s (henceforth Moros4) population is already

ongoing for more than four centuries. The militant MILF movement was founded in 1984 by Hashim

Salamat (Jubair, 1999; Gomez, 2000). The MILF came to replace the Moro National Liberation Front

(MNLF) as the most important Moro resistance movement after it had signed a peace with the

government in 1996 (Jubair, 1999; Gomez, 2000).

Over the years, many violent clashes between the MILF and the Armed Forces of the

Philippines (AFP) have occurred, many times disrupting the continued attempts that were made to

resolve the conflict. On March 27, 2014, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB)

peace deal between the Philippine government and the MILF was signed. Notwithstanding the

frequent relapses into conflict after peace deals (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse, & Miall, 2011)), we can

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November 2015

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22 March 2016

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For a definition see chapter 1.2

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11 view this as a terrorist conflict that has ended. In this respect, the MILF case could hold valuable

lessons as to why conflicts are/fail to be resolved.

This thesis aims to answer the following research question:

How did the MILF transition to a peaceful political process?”

1.2. General outline of this thesis

The thesis is structured as follows:

First, a general review is given of the literature concerning the onset and demise of

terrorist/insurgency groups. This review presents the general theoretical framework that will be used

in analyzing the specific case of MILF (section 1.3).

Second, the research design is presented, consisting of the methodology used and the lenses

and framework applied to the case. Also, further motivation is provided for the selection of the MILF

case (section 1.4).

Chapter 2 starts a historical background of the history of the Moro-Philippine conflict (section

2.1). By understanding the history of the conflict, a better analysis of present concerns will follow.

Then, the conflict is analyzed by dividing it into four phases between January 1997 and

January 2014 (2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5). Each of these phases will be analyzed using the lenses and

framework as described in chapter 1.4.

Chapter 3 provides a systematic analysis of the MILF case. Here, the different phases will be

compared (section 3.3). Then the main observations and intermediate conclusions will be analyzed

using the most important theoretical concepts (section 3.4). This will lead to the overall conclusions

(section 3.5) and recommendations (section 3.6).

1.3. Literature review

This chapter will provide an oversight of the academic literature in the field of

terrorism/insurgency conflicts. These conflicts play an increasingly dominant role in policymakers’

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12 and solutions to terrorism/insurgency conflicts is relatively young (Jones & Libicki, 2008).When it is

done, it frequently takes little notice of what research is already out there (Cronin, 2009). However,

especially with regard to ending terrorism/insurgency, studies are scarce (Cronin, 2009; Jones &

Libicki, 2008). The RAND study by Jones and Libicki (2008), has made a significant contribution

because it has not focused upon one case, which is common in terrorist research (Cronin, 2009), but

has researched 648 cases dating from 1968 until 2006. They have singled out the most successful

methods for ending terrorism: political transition (43 %) and policing (40%). About 10 % of the groups

ended because the group had achieved its goals and in only 7 % of the cases, there was a military

victory for the government (Jones & Libicki, 2008). Concluding from this study, political transition

gives the highest odds for ending a terrorist group. The purpose of this study is to further explore the

correlative factors that Jones & Libicki have used, and to find out how political transitions come

about.

This requires an exploration of the causal mechanisms which are at work in ending terrorism

through political process. As of now, this is still a relatively uncharted part of terrorism research

(Cronin, 2009). The study will contribute to filling this knowledge gap. However, this first requires a

description of the academic field in which to maneuver. The literature review will go into differences

over approach and definition (1.3.1), observed correlations (1.3.2) causes and dynamics (1.3.3) and

non-violent endings (1.3.4).

1.3.1. Terrorism, a complex area of study

Scholars use a multitude of interpretations and/or orientations in defining terrorism or

insurgency (Schmid, 2011). The terms are often used interchangeably. This complicates the

systematic study of the literature. In his handbook on terrorism research, Schmid discusses several

leading practical terrorist definitions, such as those used by the High-level Panel on Threats,

Challenges and Change (2004), the UN Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism (2001) and the United States

Department of State (2006). He asked for input from dozens of terrorist scholars on the practical

definitions formulated by the institutes mentioned above, and those definitions that were popular in

academics works (Schmid, 2011). Schmid carefully analyzed the feedback received and attempted to

capture the core dimension of terrorism as follows:

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conspiratorial practice of calculated, demonstrative, direct violent action without legal or moral restraints, targeting mainly civilians and non-combatants, performed for its propagandistic and psychological effects on various audiences and conflict parties.” (Schmid 2011, 86)

The definition encompasses the thought process to commit an act of terrorism and the act

itself. By his use of the words ‘effectiveness’ and ‘calculated’, we can assume that in his mind both

are based upon a rational decision. It is a tactic that is presumed rational to pursue certain goals and

requires calculated rational planning and execution.

In addition to this, Duyvesteyn and Fumerton (Duyvesteyn & Fumerton, 2010) have brought

more clarity on the difference between insurgency and terrorism. They argue that insurgency and

terrorism are two distinct strategies of irregular warfare. Consequently: “it is not in tactics, targets, causes or motivations that differences lie, but in political, relational and organizational features that are connected to the distinct strategy (Duyvesteyn & Fumerton, 2010).” Whereas an insurgency strategy seeks to gain control of a territory and by using popular support and local resources, a

terrorist strategy seeks to create fear, provoke a reaction or coerce a government into altering a

certain policy. For both, this requires a completely different relation with the population (Duyvesteyn

& Fumerton, 2010). They conclude that acts of terrorism are not exclusive to the strategy of

terrorism. Such acts can be used in an insurgency strategy as well. However, within an insurgency

strategy, the group must be extra careful to make sure that it has popular support (active or silent) to

commit such acts (Duyvesteyn & Fumerton, 2010). This study will use both insights, the rational

tactic explained by Schmid (Schmid, 2011), and the different strategies explained by Duyvesteyn and

Fumerton (2010) in which such tactics can be used.

Besides a range of definitions, scholars use different analytical lenses to look at the subject

matter. Studies based upon assumptions of rationalism and self-interest have been contested by

more interpretative, context-sensitive studies (Tarrow, 2007). This originates from different

ontologies. Scholars in social science hold different views on whether the world consists of real

things or merely of interpretations of that world. This affects the kind of questioning one does

significantly. For example, is the human being able to think objectively? Or is he always influenced by

his surroundings and ideas? Furthermore, scholars argue differently about how knowledge can be

gained, their epistemological ground (Viotti & Kauppi, 2010). Can we learn from experience to

explain phenomena? Or is it merely possible to interpret events and gain some shared understanding

of what happened (Viotti & Kauppi, 2010)? This is the main difference between scholars that use a

positivist epistemology and those that use an epistemology of interpretative understanding. The

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14 the kind of questions scholars ask. A positivist research will want to distinguish factors and clearly

define independent actor capabilities, such as state capabilities (Viotti & Kauppi, 2010). Positivist

questions concerning terrorism will aim to discern the factors and actors which are relevant and add

importance to them. However, this study should not be limited to attributing saliency to such factors

and actors, but also include the dynamics of their interplay/interaction. Interpretative

understandings are more suitable for the latter task. Here it becomes possible to ask: how do actors

interact and do their relationships change over time? How should we perceive actors’ intentions, and

what motivations drive their action? Interpretative understandings are less strict in how actors are

presumed to interact (for example on the basis of rationality) and the importance of conflict factors

and actor behavior, which can change over time. Sidney Tarrow argues that true understanding of

relationships and motivations can only be derived from a more thick description (Tarrow, 2007).

Because it is the aim of this study to find out how political transitions come about and not to test a

model, an approach of interpretative understanding is applied. This has led to the following research

question:

How did the MILF transition to a peaceful political process?”

The study builds upon two assumptions that are by no way absolute, but guide the structure

of the literature review. The first assumption relates to the correlations that were found in several

quantitative studies into the demise of terrorist groups. The study assumes that correlations are valid

and therefore does not seek to falsify them, merely to explore them in order to find causal

mechanisms. The second assumption relates to the causes of terrorism. These are well studied

(Cronin, 2009) and provide a useful frame of reference if we assume that removal of such causes is

part of the cause for the demise of a terrorist group. Consequently, in the following paragraphs, we

first explore correlations derived from quantitative research (1.2), and then causal factors (1.3).

1.3.2. Observations from quantitative research

In order for a researcher to make a decision on which factors are important and how actors

interact, it is imperative to conduct qualitative research. This can build upon correlations between

factors that were found in quantitative studies. First, I wish to elaborate on a few caveats that come

from those researches that have done large-N studies or meta-research. However useful it may

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15 Audrey Cronin states that assuming that sources of conflict are logically connected to endings is too

simple (Cronin, 2009). Factors for demise may just as likely be external as internal. Terrorism

researchers have long focused on the psychology of individual leaders and organizational dynamics

to explain endings. This does not match group dynamics anymore. Increasingly, terrorist groups are

much more decentralized and rely less on interpersonal contacts (Cronin, 2009). Another caveat is

made by Bart Schuurman (Schuurman, Eijkman, & Bakker, 2014). He contends that while conducting

terrorism research, we should be aware of the bias upon counterterrorist efforts, both because a lack

of reliable data on the group and due to government funding (Schuurman et al., 2014). This has

caused researchers to assign the causes for the decline of groups to external factors, such as state

policies (Crenshaw, 1999). Let us now examine concrete findings on correlative factors.

This study will focus on building upon correlations which were found in large-N studies such

as the RAND study by Jones & Libicki (2008) and several few-N studies such as Audrey Cronin’s (2009)

work or a study conducted by, among others, Martha Crenshaw for the United States Institute for

Peace (USIP, 1999). Several correlations between factors and the demise of terrorist groups were

found by Libicki & Jones: 1) the breadth of terrorist goals, 2) the size of terrorist groups, 3) their

ideological orientation, 4) economic conditions and 5) regime type (2008). This has produced some

interesting findings.

According to Libicki and Jones (2008), concerning the ideological orientation of groups, they

found that religious groups take decidedly longer to end. However, religious groups also never truly

achieve their objectives. Also, when religious groups have ended, this is in most cases accomplished

by policing. Only one factor consistently holds up as a correlative factor to the duration of a group:

size. Larger groups last longer and have a higher chance of achieving their goals (Libicki & Jones,

2008). They also found interesting correlations between the five factors listed above. Economic

conditions seem to be related to a group’s ideological orientation and its size. In high income

countries, groups are mostly either left-wing or nationalist. In addition, groups are small in high

income countries. Terrorist groups more often end in high income countries than in low income

countries. And lastly, policing is more effective in high income countries (Libicki & Jones, 2008). The

breadth of goals is correlated to ideological orientation and the size of groups. Religious and

left-wing groups hold the broadest goals of empire and social revolution. These groups are rarely ended

by politics because their goals cannot be bargained over. Also, Libicki and Jones find that bigger

groups often have broader and more ambitious goals. Such goals have more appeal which makes

recruiting easier (Libicki & Jones, 2008). Regime type might have an impact on the size of groups, but

this is highly contested. The argument that grievances are less in democracies, due to established

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16 democracies are less capable than authoritarian regimes in repression and the tracking down of

terrorists, which could keep groups small. The last correlation is between ideological orientation and

size. Libicki and Jones (2008) find that nationalist groups are often the biggest, with religious groups

coming in second place.

All in all, one correlation was solidly produced between one of the five factors and ending the

conflict: group size. An increasing size of the group meant that it would be harder to end. However,

between factors, many also showed correlations with size. So despite not having found correlations

between the other factors and duration, certain co-variations with other factors might produce

interesting results.

Whereas Libicki & Jones focus more on group and state attributes, Audrey Cronin has

distinguished the seven most important ways in which terrorist groups end:

- capture or killing of the leader,

- failure to transition to the next generation,

- achievement of the group’s aims,

- transition to a legitimate political process,

- undermining of popular support,

- repression,

- transition from terrorism to other forms of violence (Cronin, 2009)

Capture or killing only proved important in a few cases. Cronin concludes that capture is most

likely more effective than killing a leader. If a leader is captured, this undermines his credibility and

that of the group. Moreover, with a leader still alive, it may be harder for the group to regain new

leadership (Cronin, 2009). Concerning a failure to transition to a next generation, right-wing terrorist

groups stand out. Ethno-separatist and religious groups are more successful in this regard (Crenshaw,

1999). Groups rarely succeed in achieving their aims, but when they do, it is often through a

transition to the political process. Cronin emphasizes that this is much more complex than merely

pursuing a negotiated agreement (Cronin, 2009). There are many variables that determine the

outcome of negotiations. Cronin lists a few: degree of hierarchy in the group, degree of centralized

leadership, degree and nature of public support for the cause and if the group aims are negotiable

(Cronin, 2009). Firstly, she concludes that a more hierarchical group structure and stronger

leadership is advantageous for ensuring compliance with peace terms on local levels. Also, separatist

groups often have aims that are more feasible and negotiable than other type of groups (Cronin,

2009). Potentially, additional pay-off in this respect may come if a terrorist organization struggles to

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17 Secondly, centralized leadership is deemed important because the greatest risk of pursuing

negotiations is that it often leads to the creation of splinter groups, frequently more violent and

extreme than the original group (Cronin, 2009). Leadership that is centralized is more stable is this

respect than a structure with decentralized independently operating cells. Thirdly, the loss of popular

support can greatly influence the position of a group (Cronin, 2009). It can stop the flow of new

recruits, diminish the amount of safe houses, cause a financial blow and potentially help the police

get more information out of locals (Cronin, 2009). Support is lost through fear for government

retaliation, an improvement in life conditions for the local populace, decreasing salience of the

group’s ideology and resentment about the group’s level of violence (Cronin, 2009). Popular support

is often linked to levels of repression. As levels of state violence and the profiling of certain ethnic or

social-economic groups increase, resentment will grow. This may serve to legitimize terrorist attacks

and as an effective tool for recruitment (Cronin, 2009). On the other hand, repression may deter the

local population from supporting the terrorist group (Cronin, 2009). The last way to end a group, a

transition to another modus operandi and away from terrorism, occurs when the focus of the group

shifts to making profit, or when the group gains strength and transitions into insurgency (Cronin,

2009). However, as we have established in 1.1, this does not mean that such groups seize to use

terrorist tactics.

In conclusion, a remark on the USIP study is warranted. They conclude that timing is also a

crucial element. This fits within the interpretative approach, which sees conflict and its factors of

importance as interrelated and changing over time. For example, the study states that peace

overtures must be timed correctly. Preferably, they should come at a time that the government is

strong and the group is undergoing of period of introspection (Crenshaw, 1999).

1.3.3. Asymmetrical conflicts: causes and dynamics

In order to study the dynamics of terrorism, one must be aware of the context in which it is

being used, the wider conflict. Therefore, it is important to give an insight into the academic

literature concerning the causes of/and dynamics within an asymmetrical conflict. Asymmetrical

conflicts are between parties that are inevitably unequally situated in capabilities and resources

because of their relation, for example between a state and separatist group or an employee and

employer (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011). Addressing the causes of a conflict may remove

incentives to use terrorism. Understanding the dynamics within the conflict can serve to distinguish

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18 opportunity toward ending the conflict. In the following sections theory on causes and dynamics will

be elaborated on in asymmetrical conflicts. The first part will have a general focus on civil conflict.

Subsequently, this is extended to comprise the use of terrorist tactics.

1.3.3.1. Conflict resolution theory

Conflict resolution theory has produced many insights into the causes and dynamics of

conflict. Most work builds upon the studies conducted by Johan Galtung (Galtung, 1969). Galtung

came up with three triangles that were interconnected and described the dimensions of conflict and

the forms of violence. Galtung viewed conflict as inherent to a society where human beings with

different preferences live together. He did not see conflict as necessarily violent. The first dimension

of conflict is contradiction, which refers to the underlying conflict situation, the perceived

incompatibility of goals.

The second dimension is attitude. This is about the perceptions that actors have of

themselves and their adversaries, often instilled by fear, anger or jealousy. Then there is actual

behavior. Competing interests and negative attitudes can lead to different kind of behavior, often

becoming more violent as the first two dimensions cut deeper. Galtung also translates these

dimensions into forms of violence. He classifies contradiction as a sort of structural violence,

attitudes as cultural violence and behavior as direct violence. To exemplify this division, structural

violence can be poverty or disenfranchisement, direct violence can be killing or the act of rape, and

cultural violence is everything that justifies this (Galtung, 1969). These dimensions of conflict and

forms of violence can be connected to the drivers of peace. Addressing contraction requires

peacebuilding, transforming attitudes is a matter of peacemaking and changing (violent) behavior is

primarily done by peacekeeping (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011). After Galtung had laid

down the groundwork of conflict resolution by distinguishing the dimensions of conflict and related

forms of violence, several scholars tried to concretize these dimensions and the dynamics within/

and between them. Edward Azar’s (1990) work on protracted social conflicts (PSC) is especially

relevant to asymmetrical conflict and the case study in chapter three.

In the 1970s, Azar contested some of the dominant thinking within the academic community

about conflicts. Until then, research focused mostly upon conflicts between states, and also clearly

separated the international from the domestic domain. Azar concluded that such a distinction was

purely artificial. According to Azar, there is one social environment in which conflicts arise and are

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19 research emphasized the role of intercommunal relations. People may contest for material wealth,

security, status and political rights. Such struggles are often played out at a communal level. Azar

identifies four preconditions that can work to escalate conflicts: communal discontent, the

deprivation of basic needs5, degree of state failure and the degree of international linkages. He adds that whether these preconditions will transform conflict into a violent struggle depends upon the

process dynamics present, of which he lists three: communal actions/strategies, state

action/strategies and built-in mechanisms. The former refers to identity group formation,

organization and mobilization of such a group, the choice of goals, its leadership and tactics. The

state will respond by choosing a policy somewhere between political accommodation and coercive

repression. Political accommodation will be more difficult in weak states. The built-in mechanisms

are the dynamics of conflict that always influence the choices conflict parties make. One can think of

pre-existing beliefs and biases, the security dilemma or incentives based on a war economy (Azar,

1990). The four preconditions form an important part of the context in which the process dynamics

take place.

After Azar, several post-Cold war theories have contributed to understanding the context and

process dynamics even better. They can easily be integrated within protracted social conflict theory,

and serve as a nice addition. These will be discussed in the next two sections.

1.3.3.2. Civil wars

Galtung’s idea of contradiction, based on the belief that the goals of each group are

incompatible with that of the other as long as their current relationship is sustained, is a good

starting position. Such contradiction can be grounded on greed when there is a scarcity of material

wealth that both wish to possess, or on grievance, when cultural values and political rights of one

group are denied/marginalized by the other. Many scholars in the pre-Cold War era mainly focused

upon the grievances of civil war parties. This was understandable due to the strong ideological clash

between communists and capitalists, which characterized much of these conflicts. Or the

decolonization wave that empowered many disenfranchised populations to settle old scores. Paul

Collier and Anke Hoeffler (Collier & Hoeffler, 2004) have conducted a large-N study which found no

convincing correlates between grievances and the outbreak of civil war, but did so for economic

variables and civil war. Based on previous research (Collier, 1999), they assume that conflict often

pays off for rebel groups, independent of the outcome. They also state that grievances are frequently

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20 exaggerated, something which cannot be dispelled by conflict itself, but worsens this. Since

grievances can easily be fabricated and misperceived, explanations of rebellions by referral to

grievances should be extra cautious (Collier & Hoeffler, 2004). By testing a data set of civil wars

between 1960-1999 against indicators of grievance and indicators of opportunity, only the latter

performed well.

The first factor that influences opportunity is the availability of finance. Especially in

countries with large primary commodity exports, finance is easy and potentially lucrative. Also, the

availability of finance through powerful diaspora networks is found to increase conflict risk. The

second factor in opportunity is the cost of rebellion. If opportunity costs for starting a rebellion are

higher, for example in countries with higher GDP growth rates, higher rates of male secondary

education enrollment and higher per capita income, conflict risk is substantially reduced. A third

factor is that of military advantage. Significant here is the degree of population dispersion.

Concerning grievances, inequality, political rights and religious fractionalization all had insignificant

outcomes. Only ethnic dominance is found to increase conflict risk (Collier & Hoeffler, 2004).

Quantitative research carried out by James Fearon and David Laitin (Fearon & Laitin, 2003) endorsed

these findings. These studies hint at the explanatory power of economic variables, and the dynamics

of opportunistic greed to exploit them.

Jeremy Weinstein (Weinstein, 2006) elaborates more on the dynamics within what he calls –

opportunistic and activist rebellions – those primarily based on greed and those that were caused by

grievance. He argues that opportunistic rebellions organize on the basis of immediate rewards for

their supporters, through the distribution of resource rents or external patronage. The leadership of

the group is likely to have less control over its armed units when they do not share an ideological

belief and identity (Weinstein, 2006). Especially in dispersed areas, opportunistic groups will use

more violence to retain social control than activist rebellions (Weinstein, 2006). Insurgent groups can

also thrive on significant amounts of external aid/rewards for their resistance against the

government. Weinstein points out that such aid can fundamentally change the reality on the ground,

risking members of behaving solely self-interested because money is flowing in from abroad

(Weinstein, 2006).

In his study on civil wars, Stathis Kalyvas (Kalyvas, 2009) has focused upon the use of violence

within such wars. He expands upon Weinstein’s analysis that opportunistic rebellions are more

violent. Kalyvas stresses that beside indiscriminate violence, often connected to a breakdown of

authority as envisaged by Thomas Hobbes, groups use selective violence in order to produce local

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21 (Kalyvas, 2009). However, we can also think of this in a more delicate and nuanced game of rivalry.

According to Claire Metelits (Metelits, 2009), insurgent groups are not excessively violent against

local populations because of the presence of natural resources, but because they are in a state of

active rivalry with one or more other groups. Resources only become a source for aggression when

there is an impending threat of resource depletion, which is often the case when groups are in fierce

competition/active rivalry (Metelits, 2009). Metelits even states that in the absence of such active

rivalry, groups are even able to behave like a state, providing security, public goods and guarding

indigenous institutions (Metelits, 2009). This kind of behavior could legitimize a group as a valid

negotiating partner (1.5) (Zartman, 1995). Now that we have explored the most important

explanations of conflict outbreak, grievances (1.3.1) and greed (1.3.2), and the dynamics associated

with them, some final notes on other post-Cold War additions are heeded.

There is one influential theory that contributed to the preconditions described by Azar and

the opportunity thesis put forward by Collier & Hoeffler. This is the work of Barry Buzan on

re-conceptualizing security to catch all its complexities ((Buzan, 1991). Buzan stressed that during the

Cold War the concept of security was interpreted too narrowly, strictly limited to the physical

survival of the state or the nation. This centered around military and political dimensions of security.

Buzan extended this by incorporating economic security, societal security, environmental security

and regional security into the security concept. Economic security is about balancing risks, to ensure

welfare stability. It is also the one dimension that reinforces all other dimensions of security. Societal

security is about the harmony of cultures and identities that is present (lacking) in society.

Concerning environment security, Buzan admits that this is hard to measure, but one can think of the

exhaustion of farmlands or the extinction of other livelihoods, such as flora and fauna. Lastly, and in

addition to Azar and Collier & Hoeffler the most important dimension, Buzan elaborates on regional

security. This goes beyond mere conceptions of the balance of power, also comprising relationships

of enmity/amity, based upon shared/opposing forms of identity and ethnicity or territorial claims and

historical events (Buzan, 1991). Such relationships together form a security complex, which Buzan

defines as:

a group of states whose primary security concerns link together sufficiently closely that their national securities cannot realistically be considered apart from one another.” (Buzan 1991, p190) He saw security as a very omnipresent concept, which should be studied from the different levels

(individual, nation state and the international system) and broken down into the dimensions set forth

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22 Connected to this omnipresence was the introduction of a concept what Ole Waever called

‘securitization’ (Buzan, Waever, & de Wilde, 1998). Securitization is the construction of an issue as a

threat that poses a security problem to the nation. This is often done by elites and accomplished

once the audience accepts the frame (Buzan et al., 1998).

1.3.3.3. Specific dimensions of terrorism

Conflicts do not just emerge and hold the same shape, meaning and intensity over time. They

are constantly evolving and changing. Such dynamics are important to understand the developments

within conflicts and the road they take to violence, peace or a stand-off. This also includes a moment

where terrorism becomes relevant or irrelevant again. For example when it is securitized by

politicians. Buzan (Buzan et al., 1998) distinguishes three ways in which politicians can go about this:

insulation, repression and equalizing. Insulation is based on decreasing vulnerabilities to terrorism.

Repression is rather more active, aiming at eliminating the threat of terrorism. Equalizing refers to

repairing inequalities in order to soften grievances (Buzan et al., 1998). Especially the difference

between insulation and repression is an analytical distinction that is a useful addition to the more

forceful policy responses that were put forward by Libicki & Jones (policing, military force) and

Cronin (capture leaders, repression). Because our main topic of research, a policy based on political

rapprochement, is rarely successful on its own (Libicki & Jones, 2008), I wish to elaborate further on

forceful policy responses. Whereas repression relies on a pro-active and anticipatory justice system,

insulation can entail different legal choices. Sara Fiorentini and Willem-Jan van der Wolf (Fiorentini &

Van der Wolf, 2015) explore some of these choices.

Because of diverging definitions of terrorism, governments claim that it is not possible to

refer the crime of terrorism to an international court with universal jurisdiction (Fiorentini & Van der

Wolf, 2015). As to the approach governments may take to terrorism, Van der Wilt distinguishes

between the objective and subjective approach (in: Fiorentini & Van der Wolf, 2015). The former

concentrates solely on the act that is performed. The latter also includes motive/intention. A

subjective approach is needed to engage in anticipatory justice, such as punishing people for acts

that are yet to be committed (for example a terrorist attack). However, according to Van der Wilt,

because of the reactive nature of criminal law, it is not a suitable instrument for prevention (in:

Fiorentini & Van der Wolf, 2015). A subjective approach would entail a more farfetched curtailment

of human rights, which has a risk of being counterproductive because it can contribute to terrorist

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23 various ways. Popular support may dwindle, in fear of arrest, or increase due to dissatisfaction with

the government. Terrorist groups may be prepared to go until further lengths to achieve their goals

because they know that a severe punishment awaits them once they are caught or the group is

dissolved Abrahms (Abrahms, 2006).

Henar Criado (Criado, 2015) connects such hard policies directly to the terrorist behavior in

his case study on the ETA in Spain. Because we assume that terrorists wish to maximize the saliency

of their attacks, we should gain a better understanding of shifts in terrorist behavior by observing

certain factors that explain such saliency. Criado points to three factors that explain terrorist

saliency: number of victims, type of victim and the dynamics of political competition. The latter is

directly connected to whether there is an exclusion of terrorism from party competition and if not,

elections draw near (Criado, 2015). Clearly, governments and political parties could decrease the

saliency of terrorism by unifying politically around the issue. A de-politicization of the issue is simply

not realistic due to the electorate’s demand for action (Fiorentini & Van der Wolf, 2015). This is

particularly the case after a big attack or event.

Gordon Clubb (Clubb, 2014) refers to these big events as triggers. These events can produce

higher levels of violence, more geographical spread, re-entry of disengaged militants and offer more

important opportunities for spoilers (Clubb, 2014). A reservation to this is made by Adam Roberts

(2015), who has done meta-research into the field of terrorism. According to Roberts, history teaches

us that is mostly not a few trigger acts of great violence that transform the conflict (Roberts, 2015).

1.3.4. Ending conflict non-violently

In order to find a political solution for an asymmetrical conflict, the parties can choose to

negotiate. The positions from which the parties can negotiate are determined by the conflict, which

is constantly evolving. To capture this, one should assess its features, actors’ capabilities and history.

Such features and capabilities were discussed in the previous paragraph. This paragraph explores

literature on the way they can interact when they choose to negotiate instead of fight. The literature

points us in the direction of four factors of importance: tactics, leadership, third parties, trust and the

role of spoilers. In order to review these factors, a clear understanding of negotiation practice is

needed. In the literature, elements of time and momentum are attached to certain practice. Also, I

will shortly give a general indication of important elements in successful peace agreements so we can

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24

1.3.4.1 Negotiation practices within the longer peace process

Most authors that write on conflict resolution agree that just as with other phases of conflict,

such as the emergence of a clear contradiction between parties and possibly armed conflict (Cronin,

2009), negotiating a peace, takes time. Setbacks can cause severe delay or even deterioration,

whereas breakthroughs can accelerate the road to peace. Conflicts evolve, they can spin around,

take another shape or get a different meaning over time. Negotiations, if they come about, can take

different forms depending on the conflict situation. For example, if a conflict is from its onset mainly

about political injustices but grows to become a struggle for territory and resources, negotiations

may have to take another form.

The first difference that academics have stressed is that between official and unofficial

diplomatic contacts. For asymmetrical conflicts, this is especially important. Governments are not

easily inclined to recognize the legitimacy of a rebel group, since this implies an erosion of their own

authority. However, for negotiations to work, an equal power balance is favorable. This requires

mutual recognition of the other as a legitimate actor (Zartman, 1995). Official contacts usually signify

such recognition, which would explain why some governments attempt to avoid this. Legitimacy may

preclude a government from criminalizing rebel group members, which could undermine its strategy.

In this stage of the conflict, contacts are rather made unofficial or through back-channels.

So what negotiation options do the parties have and at what stage of the conflict is an option

likely to be on the table? Besides being official or unofficial, the main differences between options

can be categorized in three tracks of diplomacy. Frequently, this involves a third party. Within track

one, top-level government representatives are involved, usually under the guidance of an

international governmental organization or another state. This involves more muscle and pressure to

come an agreement. Track one diplomacy often comes in the form of official negotiations, summitry,

or an arbitration procedure. Third parties may act as an arbiter or forceful mediator (Ramsbotham,

Woodhouse & Miall, 2011).

For track two diplomacy, no top-officials are needed and the pressure to come to an

agreement is less. Such contacts can serve to create trust, exchange views, brainstorm to reconcile

interests and needs or work out low-level issues for implementation. This can take the form of

mediation, work-group meetings or informal conciliatory meetings. According to Ramsbotham et al

(2011), a third party mediator has to provide for three basic elements in second track , diplomacy:

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25 diplomacy has gained more adherents and appreciation over the last decades. In these meetings, it is

easier to implement a principled negotiation approach, as advocated by Herb Kelman (Kelman,

1996). Central to this approach is to bridge the difference between positions and interests. This is

easier done in low-level meetings, where statements and promises can be made in a more

exploratory and non-binding way. Also, it is easier to explore true basic needs. According to Burton,

interests can be differentiated from needs in that they are negotiable, whereas needs are not.

Burton lists four basic needs: security, political access, development and identity. However, basic

needs can often be fulfilled by different positions, whereas interests are concrete and have a limited

range of negotiation positions that achieve them. According to Burton, focusing on needs instead of

interests presents a chance to creatively find solutions (Burton, 1990).

Finally, third track diplomacy is about including grassroots movements. This might concern

meetings between community leaders, academics or any other initiative that is organized by citizens

that seeks to bridge differences, build social cohesion and find common ground. A third party might

be an authoritative figure from a neighboring village who can fulfill the same roles as third parties in

first and second track diplomacy (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011). The question that

remains is: do we need each option and if yes, when?

Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall (2011) conclude that track one and track two diplomacy

are often most effective when they are undertaken in conjunction. Track three is needed throughout

the process, but especially when party positions are completely opposed. Grassroots movements

may demand internal change of their own party position. Also, they may explore and accomplish

things on a local scale that may serve as an example for national politicians/leaders. The question

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26

1.3.4.2. Successful elements of peace agreements

In order to know what method one should use, an idea of what constitutes a good settlement is

needed. Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall (2011) list several elements of successful settlements:

- The inclusion of all affected parties

- Agreements need to be well crafted and precise

- A well-struck balance must exist between clear commitments and more flexible terms

- The parties need incentives to sustain the process, for example through power-sharing

- Provide for a dispute settlement mechanism, and a way for renegotiation in matters of disagreement about the implementation

- Deal with the core issues, bring about transformation

- Preferable: respect for human rights, justice and group rights

However, to reach such an outcome, many variables should be taken into account. Cronin

lists a few: degree of hierarchy in the group, degree of centralized leadership, degree and nature of

public support for the cause and if the group aims are negotiable (Cronin, 2009). She concludes that a

more hierarchical group structure and stronger leadership is advantageous for ensuring compliance

with peace terms on local levels. Also, separatist groups often have aims that are more feasible and

negotiable than other type of groups (Cronin, 2009). The greatest risk of pursuing negotiations is that

it often leads to the creation of splinter groups, frequently more violent and extreme than the

original group (Cronin, 2009).

Parties will have to make tactical choices on how to deal with these variables and which of

the above listed elements they wish to make a priority. However, during conflict, it will not always be

possible to address all elements, including a rational way of dealing with them. For example, the first

element, the inclusion of all parties, will perhaps first require a confrontational tactic from a smaller

party, presenting itself as an important player in the conflict, whereas later its tactics might shift to

more conciliatory to retain a seat at the table. Bigger parties will have to engage in third and second

track diplomacy to make sure smaller factions are in agreement with the process. Another example

is on the second element, whether to get a comprehensive deal, precise and well-crafted, or to seize

momentum and make a deal on certain issues, while forestalling agreement on other topics. It may

be tempting for an incumbent leader to get a quick deal, in order to boost his standing and political

clout. However, certain studies argue that small steps are easier to sustain, and therefore preferable

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27 continue working on all other issues must be in place, with clear procedures, timetables and public

commitments to see them through (Sisk, 1997). On the latter, strong leadership is needed

(Weinstein, 2006). Small-steps are best made in the second and third track, which attract less

attention and do not have to produce policy results (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011).

Clearly, choices must be made which are often ambiguous. They may involve choices for a location, a

third party mediator, the agenda and all other political/military decisions that shape the context of

the negotiations.

In conclusion, different negotiation tactics can exist in a group or government strategy. The

difference between strategy and tactic is not always clear-cut. The strategy is the grand scheme of

how a party wants to accomplish his end goals. It can also refer to part of the scheme, for example

the military or diplomatic parts. Tactics refer to certain methods of- or maneuvers in within such

broader set-ups. These may change over time and is dependent upon the state of the conflict. Tactics

may consist of different methods of diplomacy, or tracks of diplomacy. Certain factors of importance,

such as the strength of leadership, degree of hierarchy, type of group, strength of spoilers and

mutual trust are best engaged with a certain tactic and using one or several of the diplomacy tracks.

Strategy and tactics are essential for understanding the conflict and actor’s behavior. For example, a

group strategy may be to mobilize broad resistance with popular support and to seize control of

certain territories in order to gain government concessions on autonomy and self-rule. If it does not

have the military might to seize control, it might move from insurgency to terrorist tactics in order to

gain a better bargaining position. However, this could undermine its popular support and therefore

its grand strategy. This game is continuously played out by the conflict parties. The following will

elaborate on how players can approach this game and what options they have.

1.3.4.3. Strategy and tactical choices

Clausewitz famously states that “war is a continuation of political activity by other means”

(Von Clausewitz, 1873). The same can be argued the other way: “negotiations are just another

means of fighting a war” (Jubair, 1999). These are the first two options that parties have: fight or

negotiate. For the area of fighting, which is connected to negotiations because it always looms in the

background or happens simultaneously, we have explored several tactics in section 1.3. Now, this will

be extended with academic views on tactics which are concerned with negotiation processes. This

does not mean that both are deeply interrelated, as it is important for parties to keep the war option

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28 First, there is a strand of scholars which argues that both fighting and negotiating are based

upon rational decisions. According to these scholars, a conflict party’s tactical choices should

therefore also be based upon rational calculations. Such calculations are made by weighing the utility

of negotiations against the utility of fighting, for example to gain a better bargaining position. These

scholars adhere to bargaining theory, which comes from international relations. However, the

strategic logic holds the same for asymmetrical conflict as for interstate conflict. Terrorist groups also

incur costs upon themselves by escalating to more violence (sunk cost human/financial, audience

costs) and gain credibility of threats by using violence (Abrahms, 2011). Because of the costs

incurred, the challenger shows resolve. Scholars subsequently presume that an escalation of violence

by the challenger will have a positive effect on coercing compliance by its adversary (Abrahms, 2011).

In conclusion, according to these scholars, a tactic based on gaining negotiation concessions by

forceful coercion is logical and sound.

Despite the logic reasoning behind bargaining theory, Abrahms (2011) shows that empirical

studies have not endorsed the theoretically expected outcomes. Several large-N studies indicate that

governments are less likely to concede to political demands when they are confronted with an

escalation of terrorist violence (Crenshaw & Peller, 1998),(Abrahms, 2006). If groups actually

achieved success of their strategic goals, it was in hybrid cases where terrorism was only used as a

secondary tactic (Abrahms, 2006). Also, violence was directed at military targets and not at civilian

targets (Abrahms, 2006). All authors contend that groups rather achieved success despite the use of

terrorist tactics than because of it (Jones & Libicki, 2008; Cronin, 2009; Abrahms, 2006). So why is

this?

Abrahms points to a sense of moral outrage, the election of conservative hardline politicians,

the prevention of incentivizing potential terrorists or a perceived correspondence between extreme

terrorist means and extreme ends (Abrahms, 2011; Abrahms, 2006). However, he contends that

more research to assess the reasons behind the inability of bargaining theory to explain negotiations

between governments and terrorist groups is needed. Clearly tactics should extend mere rational

bargaining, based on coercive and exchange power (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011).

Further proof of this can be found by applying the ‘dollar auction’ game to conflict bargaining. In this

game both parties will exceed the value of the ‘thing for auction’, here one dollar, in order to incur

greater costs upon their adversary than upon themselves. The focus is upon relative gains, which

might entail: my losses are less than that of my adversary. The logic is that due to such a focus, the

efforts/costs or resolve to gain something, for example an oil field, may not be in proportion to the

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29 A strategy such as the ‘departing train’ rely on ideas of seizing a unique opportunity while the

momentum is there. This might offer chances for integrative solutions, but could also be used as a

tactic by a dominant party to press through its own agenda. The idea behind it is that there is a

unique opportunity to obtain peace, a ‘departing train’, but if a party does not align with the peace

process, or get on the train, it will fall short of its benefits (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011).

The role of spoilers is also important in this.

Stedman (Stedman, 1997) distinguishes between internal and external spoilers (Stedman,

1997). Spoilers exist only in the context of a peace process, which they want to undermine. Stedman

divides spoilers in three types: limited, greedy and total. The limited spoiler seeks tangible and

smaller objectives. The greedy spoiler makes a cost/benefit analysis whether there is a possibility to

profit from spoiling behavior. The total spoiler has all-or –nothing terms and refuses any compromise

(Stedman, 1997). With regards to the ‘departing train’ tactic, it is especially effective for limiting the

influence of spoilers by limiting their time to break up the peace process. A potential danger is that

inside greedy spoilers, those actors that are indispensable for a successful outcome may attain high

profits by exploiting their bargaining position (Stedman, 1997). A departing train tactic could be

especially effective when it consist of an amnesty proclamation. When the government can convince

the warring factions that this is a one-time offer, it works as a strong incentive (Ramsbotham et al.,

2011).

Then there is a strategy of inclusion. This is based on seeking integrative solutions that

presumes all parties agree that a continuation of hostilities only produces mutual suffering.

Integrative solutions are those that brainstorm for a common position that works to transform the

conflict by challenging dominant assumptions (Boulding, 1962). For example, to transform the idea

that once your adversary feels stronger and more secure, this will not worsen but improve your own

security. Changing this assumption will open up opportunities for creative joint solutions, like

wealth-sharing (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011). According to Zartman, such momentum can come

about with a ‘hurting stalemate’. The idea is that if there’s enough cost to a conflict, parties will

overcome their differences (Zartman, 1995). This is in direct opposition to the idea of the dollar

auction, where parties will continue their struggle despite the large costs. A very real disadvantage of

the ‘hurting stalemate’ is that contrary to expectations, it does not give a guarantee for peace, and

might take years to overcome (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011). Even when it might seem

logical on the basis of absolute gains to stop fighting, a deep mistrust may prevent this from ever

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30 Strong leadership may create trust, for example by showing a clear dedication to attain

peace. Leaders may create a strong symbolic frame of unity and opportunity. According to Kaufman,

the strength of such a frame is dependent upon how much do constituents actually care about it, the

credibility of a leader, the issues or values that are bridged or connected by the frame and the fidelity

of the narrative compared to earlier beliefs/actions. Just as frames might be abused to create fear

and mobilize people for violence, they can be used to construct peace (Kaufman, 2011). Leaders can

also, as an ultimate sign of dedication, tie their own fate to the peace process. A disadvantage of this

is that opponents of the incumbent leader may use the peace process as a way to get rid of an

incumbent. Therefore, a strong leadership structure which strengthens the legitimacy and powers of

the leader is important to ensure his commitments are carried out (Weinstein, 2006). Another way to

create trust is to chop up the peace process in many steps, which can be checked and serve to build

confidence. Important here is to have agreement on procedures and timetables (Ramsbotham,

Woodhouse & Miall, 2011). Finally, a third party mediator or arbiter may bridge mistrust by creating

trustful relations with both parties. Lederach (Lederach, 1995) argues that parties rather choose a

partial-insider than an impartial-outsider. It is easier to trust an insider than an outsider. And trust is

deemed more important than neutrality (Lederach, 1995). But trust is easily lost and hard to build.

1.3.4.4 Using negotiations for other ends than peace

It may be that negotiations merely serve to stall for time and reinforce military positions. A

state strategy may be based on military domination and denial, for example by enforcing a naval

blockade. A tactical choice at a certain time within such a strategy may be to avoid fighting and

choose to negotiate. This will allow the government to attain relative gains in the meantime. Stalling

for time may also be used to pacify third parties and make them lose interest. Similarly, a

government may choose to negotiate in order to divide its opponent between those that support

negotiations and more militant wings (Duyvesteyn & Schuurman, 2011). Moreover, a government

may have to deal with several groups, choosing to negotiate with one so it can fight the other. For

the government, this might prove an effective tactic in order to prevent your opponents from joining

forces. However, this comes with a risk. Once a negotiation has failed because one party broke the

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31

1.4. Research Design

1.4.1. Main theoretical considerations and strategies relevant to this case.

In this study the following theories from the literature review will take an important position:

- The protracted social conflict theory (Azar, 1991)

- Peace spoiler theory (Stedman, 1999)

- Negotiation strategies (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011)

- Greed and grievance theory (Collier & Hoeffler, 2003)

The protracted social conflict theory is of particular relevance as it allows capturing the social

economic dimension of the conflict. As will be shown later in the case (chapter 2.1) this dimension

can be regarded as an essential causal element of the grievances underlying the conflict.

The Peace spoiler theory is used as it will become clear from the case description that the peace

process is a bumpy road with many different obstacles (= differing interests of participants).

Negotiation strategies are of relevance as different presidents have taken different strategies in

order to deal with the conflict.

The relevance of the Greed and grievance theory is clear, as –historically- the loss of land, the

inferior social status of the Moros has caused many grievances. Besides this, the ability to generate

economic resources and external support are crucial for sustaining the conflict. Both aspects are

relevant to this particular case.

1.4.2. Framework of analysis

In order to analyze the different phases of the conflict in a structured way, they are viewed

through different lenses: the context, the state and the group. To gain a full picture of the context in

which the parties interact, we can use three different levels of analysis: international, national and

local. On the international level, this will provide insight into the world economy and regional

stability. The national level can take into account factors such as the state of the national economy,

regional differences and the dynamics of the political system. Lastly, the local level is suited to

explain the situation in Mindanao and the conflict areas. For the state and the group lens, it is

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