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The establishment of coalition governments by international accords : past examples and prospects for South Vietnam MacWhirter, Isabel Mary

Abstract

The establishment of coalition governments by international accords as a means to end internationalized civil wars has not been sufficiently analyzed to date. At this time, this process is of particular importance since it has been proposed as a mechanism to end the internationalized war in Vietnam and Indochina. The purpose of this study is to examine whether, in fact, the establishment of a coalition government in South Vietnam is a likely possibility for the near future. The method used to consider this problem was to first isolate a group of general factors which appear supportive of the establishment of coalition governments by international accords utilizing the case studies of Cyprus and Laos. This list of factors also includes those factors which appear necessary for the successful operation of a coalition government. Thus Chapter I is devoted to a description of the factors which appeared pertinent to the establishment of the coalitions in Cyprus and Laos, and the development of a set of what the author has termed "coalition criteria." Chapter II then examines the particular internal and international environments surrounding the case of South Vietnam. The internal environment is described in terms of the division of forces in South Vietnam into major sociopolitical groups and the types of emerging relationships amongst these forces. The implications of the Vietnamese concept of coalition and accommodation are also considered. The international environment is analyzed in terms of the policies of the major external parties involved in Vietnam, and the effect of the changing relationships between the US and China and the US and Russia. The final chapter of this study examines the major factors impinging on the establishment of a coalition government in South Vietnam in terms of the general factors established in Chapter I as relevant to the creation of coalition governments by international accords, and the particularities of the South Vietnamese case discussed in Chapter II. The conclusion of the author is that the establishment of some form of coalition government in South Vietnam by international accords is a likely possibility and that such a coalition could be a satisfactory, though probably temporary, solution for ending the armed conflict in Indochina.

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