With preparations underway for the new UN Peacebuilding Commission, it is important to consider
how to deal with spoilers as a threat to peace and security. This policy brief considers the sources and impact of ‘spoilers’ and ‘spoiling’: groups and tactics that actively seek to hinder, delay, or undermine conflict settlement through a variety of means and for various reasons. The authors take a broad approach to the concept of spoiling and consider a wide range of actors as potential spoilers: not only rebel groups and insurgents, but also Diasporas, governments, and other entities. The authors demonstrate that imposed or ill-conceived peace processes can themselves sow the seeds of spoiling, but that spoiler violence does not necessarily indicate that a peace process is doomed to failure.