The University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies has launched the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM), a unique source of comparable data on comprehensive peace agreements. The new website gathers in one place the voluminous and growing amount of data on peace accords from around the world, said the project’s director, John Darby, professor of comparative ethnic studies at the Kroc Institute.
“PAM responds to growing scholarly interest in peace accords,” he said. “Many accords collapse into violent confrontation. Some are followed not by peace but by stalemate, economic struggle and crime. Others have resulted in lasting peace. How can we increase the chances that a peace process will succeed?”
PAM allows users to examine the full text of comprehensive peace agreements, compare and contrast about 50 themes in the peace accords — including electoral reform, demilitarization, ceasefires, power-sharing, and peacekeeping forces — and to conduct research and contribute to effective peace processes. The site also includes reviews of post-war developments and monitors the extent to which the terms of peace agreements have been implemented.
In addition to its value to scholars and students, PAM has been used as a mechanism for reactivating stalled peace processes, Darby said.
“Negotiators often are willing to learn how other peace negotiators tackled issues that are causing problems in their own processes. This can be a valuable entry point in the negotiations.”
Scholars, students, negotiators, journalists, peacebuilding practitioners, journalists and other interested people are welcome and encouraged to use PAM, said research assistant professor Madhav Joshi, associate director of PAM. The site was developed with support from the United States Institute of Peace and the National Science Foundation and built by Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing.