Theorizing peace parks: Two models of collective action

Raul P. Lejano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In a reversal of the historical role of territory in intergroup conflict, the article focuses on an emergent notion of territory as an instrument for peace. In this article, the author begins to theorize about the mechanisms by which so-called peace parks might act in resolving conflict and ushering in regional stability. Two models are utilized that differ in their portrayal of how these parks might work. The first model, built on a game-theoretic foundation, provides insight into incentive mechanisms by which parties might agree to a border park. Furthermore, the model sheds light on whether these parks might serve as vacant buffer zones or, alternatively, active zones of cooperation. However, the game-theoretic model should be complemented by another, qualitative model that focuses primarily on how these interactions are embedded in history, culture, tradition, and group identity. To this end, the author develops a second model, which portrays institutions as structures of care. In the model of care, relationships are constitutive of identity, and institutions and practices (including war and peace) evolve in coherence with the web of relationships. It is the employment of mutually complementing analytics that might afford a deeper understanding of how these peace parks might actually serve as effective bridges for peace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-581
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Peace Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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