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How We Stopped War, 1990-2021: 180 Historical Cases of Successful Efforts to Reduce Armed Conflict

Historian Elliot Short’s research on how wars ended revealed 180 cases in which warfare was stopped or prevented since 1990. Nearly 200 organizations, Governmental and non-governmental, are continuing the work of reducing armed conflict in the world.


These reports not only prove that we can reduce armed conflict, but provide valuable information about how it has been done. Peacekeeping organizations can learn from these many past successes as they address the armed conflicts that continue to plague many parts of the world.

New Report on Effectiveness October 1, 2022

Professor Ore Koren of Indiana University has just completed an analysis of 141 cases of successful peacemaking.



Who Makes Peace?

Searching in over 1000 sources, Dr. Elliot Short found 180 cases in which wars had been stopped or prevented between 1990 and 2021.  See https://howwestopwar.com/. For each, he reported “Main Implementing Organizations” in one of 5 categories:


  1. Individual National Governments
  2. International Nongovernmental Organizations
  3. United Nations
  4. Regional Multinational Organizations
  5. Local people and Organizations

In many cases, he listed more than 1 main implementing organization. Natalia Kanos then listed the number of each type of organization or group of organizations that Dr. Short listed as main implementing organization.

Groups Involved in the 180 Peace Process Cases

Breakdown of the 94 Individual Government Cases:

Breakdown of the 55 United Nations Cases:

Breakdown of the 68 International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs) Cases:

Breakdown of the 30 Regional Multinational Organizations Cases:

Breakdown of the 26 People and Organizations Cases:



Many are skeptical about whether wars can be stopped. But they can! Dr. Elliot Short has summarized 180 cases in which armed conflicts have been stopped or prevented since 1990.

What works?


The Better Evidence Project at George Mason University was established to encourage the use of hard evidence as the basis for decisions about how best to reduce warfare. To do that, it is building a large, easy-to-use resource library and a hub for collaboration and exchange of information by members of the Peacebuilding community.

Encouraging stories

Locally Led Peacemaking

Getting the heads of conflicted groups together to find ways to end their fighting requires understanding the people, their motivations and their culture. Local people usually understand local situations better than foreigners can. Local leaders have been instrumental in stopping or preventing many violent conflicts.

the cost of conflict


With the limited resources available to the peacebuilding field, focusing our resources on activities that are cost-effective will go a long way to determining the results we achieve.