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Justice and peace are commonly seen as mutually reinforcing, and key international peacebuilding documents stress the importance of human rights. Is this apparent normative shift reflected in post-Cold War peace agreements? The existing literature is divided on this issue but has crucially treated both conflicts and peace agreements as aggregate categories. This article argues that the conflict type and the agreement's ‘core deal’ impact on the inclusion, or exclusion, of human rights provisions. Based on new coding of the 29 comprehensive agreements signed between 1990 and 2010, it compares agreements signed in territorial and non-territorial conflicts, and agreements with and without territorial autonomy. Qualitative Comparative Analysis is used to examine the different combinations of conditions that led to the inclusion of human rights. The analysis finds that agreements signed in territorial conflicts are significantly less likely to include effective human rights provisions, especially if the settlement includes territorial autonomy. Moreover, such provisions tend to be the result of high levels of international involvement, and the consequent lack of local commitment, or outright resistance, undermines their implementation. These findings point to important trade-offs between group rights and individual rights, and qualifies the notion of a liberal peace.
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