Economic Issues and Tools in Peace Processes

Principal Collaborator: Achim Wennmann


Over the past decade, the analysis of armed conflict has been filled with references to economic characteristics. In contrast, most peace processes revolved around the military or political sphere. Negotiators tend to focus on ceasefires and power-sharing deals and thus often fail to recognise the economic dimensions of armed conflicts, and their potential for peacemaking.

An economic perspective on peace processes is important because their principle targets – armed conflicts and their consequences – have economic characteristics. These include conflict-induced economic transformations, and the economic agendas and conditions that shape the organisation and dynamics of armed conflict. These characteristics must be clearly identified and managed during peace processes. An economic perspective also matters because the constructive use of economic issues and tools in peace processes can facilitate post-conflict transitions. Through frameworks and guarantees for economic recovery, peace processes address the transition phase in which belligerents are expected to disarm and demobilise in return for the promise of peace dividends and a better future. A better understanding of these dimensions promises to develop new opportunities for the planning and management of peace processes.

This project related the scholarship on the political economy of conflict and armed groups to peace processes, and thereby addressed a gap in both theory and practice.

Project Outcomes

From 2006 to 2010, in collaboration with and funded by Political Affairs Division IV and the Political Secretariat of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFAPD IV), this project sought to increase the evidence base on the role and management of economic issues in peace processes. It also aimed to provide mediators with information about the practical opportunities and risks associated with the use of the economic instruments in peace processes. In 2010, Achim Wennmann completed the deliverables of this project with the publication of the book The Political Economy of Peacemaking, which appeared as the first volume of CCDP’s new book series, the “Routledge Series on Conflict,Development and Peacebuilding”.

Overall, the project contributed to current mediation support initiatives at multilateral and national levels. Upon completion, the project had produced the following outputs:

The project has distilled its latests results in a series of CCDP Issue Briefs on the role of income sharing, development assistance, and private sector investment in peace processes. It is based on an understanding of peacebuilding that transcends the operational conflict/post-conflict divisions and emphasises the potential long-term savings from timely investments into peace processes.



"Income Sharing from Natural Resources: Guidelines for Mediators"

Issue Brief n.1 (January 2010)



"Development Assistance: Guidelines for Mediators"

Issue Brief n.2 (February 2010)


"Private Sector Investment: Guidelines for Mediators"

Issue Brief n.3 (March 2010)

All outcomes of this project feature in 'The Political Economy of Peacemaking', the first monograph of the new CCDP book series on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, published by Routledge in December 2010.