Publication / Law and Peace

Partial Agreements: The Functional Alternative to All-Encompassing Settlements

In situations of entrenched conflict, a common tendency is to seek comprehensive rather than limited deals. This practice is often reinforced by the uncritical adoption of the rule that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

Yet, the default to comprehensive and all-encompassing goals can be counterproductive since local, regional and global conditions seldom will be propitious to achieving them. An approach of multiple ‘partial agreements’ to ‘shrink the conflict’, instead of seeking its comprehensive end, may sometimes be the wiser choice. 

Against this backdrop, this IFIT publication examines 1) the relevance and potential advantages of partial agreements in situations of armed or political conflict; 2) associated risks and dilemmas – and the means of addressing them; and 3) the range of issues that might be suitable for partial agreements.

The DOI registration ID for this publication is:

Share this publication