Can Rebels Bolster Trust in the Government? Evidence from the Philippines

Jori Breslawski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Commitment problems make civil wars difficult to end. Research on overcoming commitment problems focuses on warring parties, however civilians’ perceptions are central to successful transitions from war to peace. While civilians residing in areas previously controlled by armed groups may be highly distrustful that governments will implement peace agreements, I argue that some armed groups are both motivated and capable of improving trust in the state. Using survey data from civilians in the Bangsamoro, Philippines, I show that civilians that experienced rebel security provision or rebel justice provision from the MILF are more likely to trust that the Government of the Philippines will fully implement the peace agreement than civilians that did not experience rebel governance provision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-751
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • broker
  • conflict
  • peace agreement
  • rebel governance
  • trust


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