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The Role of Conflict Diamond Sanctions in Postwar Peace Commitment

By Karin Sun

This paper models post-civil war conflict recurrence in Africa as a two-player sequential game. I treat the two “players” in my model, an incumbent government and a rebel group, as profit-maximizing firms who must each allocate a fixed supply of labor between diamond production and armed warfare. I then analyze the impact of conflict diamond sanctions on the players’ optimal labor allocations and on the likelihood that the Rebel will choose to demobilize after a civil war rather than return to armed conflict. I find that the minimum level of sanction needed to achieve demobilization is larger when the world price of diamonds is higher, and when the Rebel controls a smaller proportion of the country’s labor resources. The results of this study could inform policymakers about the value of diamond sanctions as a preventive tool against post-war conflict recurrence, as well as the most cost effective sanction that a mediator could impose given a certain set of circumstances.

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Advisor: Bahar Leventoglu

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