Unstable Peace

Camila de Macedo Braga*, Scott Romaniuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


The concept of unstable peace emerged from the stable peace literature, in which unstable peace is defined as a scenario in which “peace is the norm” (Boulding 1989), but armed conflict may still occur, looming in the realm of possibilities for decision-makers in political and military arenas. Military tensions could also rise to crisis level as parties preserve perceptions of enmity. It is a period of any length during which peace, defined as the absence of major armed conflicts, is guaranteed not by shared bonds of amity or cooperation but by military and political decision-makers’ strategic perceptions of the costs and benefits of conflict escalation. In such contexts, peace would be guaranteed by the presence of a balance of power behavior, deterrence capabilities, or even a decision-maker’s lack of will. Nevertheless, the parties still perceive each other as enemies or potential threats and prepare accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies
EditorsScott Romaniuk, Péter Marton
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-74336-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-74336-3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2022


  • Abuses of fundamental rights
  • anthropocene
  • Democracy
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Securitization
  • Threat Perceptions


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