Citizen preferences in the design of effective peace settlements
Professor Neophytos Loizides, Dr Edward Morgan-Jones, Dr Laura Sudulich and Professor Feargal Cochrane
How does the design of peace settlements secure citizen support? While there has been much research on peace
settlements and their effects, little comparative work incorporates the role of citizen preferences. Peace settlements
address multiple dimensions: For example, they may contain provisions on power sharing, territorial autonomy,
property rights, prisoner releases and third party security guarantees.
The compromises that these peace settlements entail are most often the product of elite rather than popular
involvement, in part, because of the difficulties of accurately identifying the tradeoffs the public might accept. Both
referendums and existing survey methods are too crude to accurately capture public opinion. This is because they
cannot identify the dimensions of a peace settlement that are most important to citizens and the types of
compromises the public might support.
To address this problem this project will test ideas about the most effective way to design and maintain peace
settlements by conducting a series of innovative conjoint survey experiments in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. Data
generated by this project will help us identify which aspects of peace settlements are most important to citizens and
different groups of citizens and the tradeoffs citizens might accept to secure peace.
Our objectives are to use the results of these surveys to:
- Test the most effective means of designing peace settlements to secure citizen support;
- Give elite decision makers and citizens a reliable basis for understanding citizen peace settlement priorities in postconflict Cyprus and postconflict and postBrexit referendum Northern Ireland;
- Develop a transferable set of methods for assessing citizen opinion on peace settlements in postconflict settings.
Funding Body: US Institute of Peace
Amount awarded: $87,000 USDback to top