This paper addresses international conflict resolution and the disparity between the number of attempts at resolution and the number of successes. It argues that one flaw in efforts thus far has been a lack of understanding of local actors and motivations, leading to ineffective strategies for resolution. In regions where conflict crosses borders, contributes to the trend of politics, and involves mercenary sub-state actors, traditional methods of resolution may be ineffective. Purveyors of violence have little interest in the power-sharing and consensual politics that international actors often try to promote. They also have significant and negative effects on regional stability. This paper further addresses the need to reconsider approaches to conflict resolution, and the significance of taking better account of local circumstances in an effort to construct strategies to address them.

Author Bio(s)

Andrea Kathryn Talentino is assistant professor of political science at Tulane University, specializing in international relations. Her research focuses on international security, international intervention, and post-conflict development. She is the author of numerous articles on conflict prevention and nation building, and is finishing revisions for a book manuscript on the subject of international intervention and the challenges to building peace.


international conflict resolution, regional stability, violence, West Africa

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