Territorial Disputes and Their Resolution: The Case of Ecuador and Peru

Peaceworks No. 27
By: 
Beth A. Simmons

After nearly six decades of sporadic warfare over a relatively small stretch of disputed border, Ecuador and Peru signed an accord on October 26, 1998, that provides a definitive settlement of the remaining issues in their ongoing border conflict. The accord may not spell the end to future territorial disputes in the region, but it is historic in that it involves many actors working over many decades to achieve a settlement to a long-standing dispute.

After nearly six decades of sporadic warfare over a relatively small stretch of disputed border, Ecuador and Peru signed an accord on October 26, 1998, that provides a definitive settlement of the remaining issues in their ongoing border conflict. The accord may not spell the end to future territorial disputes in the region, but it is historic in that it involves many actors working over many decades to achieve a settlement to a long-standing dispute. In this Peaceworks, Beth Simmons expertly summarizes not only the history of this dispute, but also the principal institutional mechanisms in the international realm that are available to help resolve such interstate conflicts over disputed territory.

Beth A. Simmons is a professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in international relations and international law and institutions. Territorial Disputes and Their Resolution: The Case of Ecuador and Peru is a case study Professor Simmons selected from a much larger project on border disputes around the world that she was researching as a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace during 1996-­97.

April 1, 1999
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