When to Get Out of the Trench? Using Smart Pressure to Resolve Civil Wars


This article puts forward a theory of smart pressure, which emphasises that thirdparty pressure only works if the conflict parties under pressure can agree with the endpoint of this pressure. Hence, a potential mutually acceptable agreement needs to be formulated before a mediator starts to apply pressure. To this argument, this article employs two case studies: the mediation efforts leading up to the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement concluded in 2005 and the Darfur Peace Agreement concluded in 2006. These cases support the smart pressure theory and suggest that mediators need to be modest about what they can accomplish using pressure.

Civil Wars