Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Law, Political science

Publication Details

Published in the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research in March 2016.


The purpose of this paper is to highlight the structural features that are proving central to the stability of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and those features that were detrimental to its predecessors.

This paper finds that a more highly legalized approach to peace-making has resulted in greater agreement stability in the Philippines. More precise in detail and inclusive in scope, the legal nature of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement has made it more responsive to the root causes of the conflict, and resilient to incidents that threatened to derail the peace process.

This case study bears valuable lessons for conflict zones the world over, particularly the troubled negotiations on Syria, and the crisis in Ukraine. The study:

- lends tentative support to Gopalan’s claim that agreements that exemplify hard legalization are much more sustainable in the long run;

- stresses the advantages of inclusivity in agreement sustainability and stability;

- reiterates the importance of addressing the key issues relevant to the conflict if the process is to be sustainable, and;

- notes the limitations of the legalization framework, but presents the Philippine example as a blueprint for addressing various aspects of the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts.


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Maynooth University