For a long time analysts of war-torn societies have understood post-conflict situations primarily as processes of transition towards consolidated statehood. This perspective is increasingly considered unsatisfactory in that it raises false expectations of state-building processes and conceals important dynamics unfolding in situ. This article formulates an integrated analytical framework that allows for characterizing and assessing the dynamics in post-conflict polities. It is argued that any post-conflict polity can be characterized by focusing on the interactions between three post-conflict actors: the formal government, external actors and informal powers. In a second step Amartya Sen’s capability approach is used as an analytical benchmark for measuring state-building achievements. Subsequently, the analytical framework is applied for comparing two diverse post-conflict environments, Mozambique and Liberia, in order to illustrate the potential and limitations of the analytical framework.
This paper aims at contributing to this branch of research by providing first attempts for a theoretical discussion of the role of environmental cooperation in post-conflict peacebuilding, followed by an illustration of two concrete peacebuilding cases: Liberia and Mozambique. The major underlying question is how a closer link between research on environmental peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding can be achieved. The paper argues that both branches of research have historically been rather detached from one another. Work on the link between environmental aspects and security has often been dominated by environmentalists, e.g. water engineers or conservationists, while research on post-conflict peacebuilding has often been done by those specialized in the fields of international relations or conflict resolution. A systematic study of potential spill-over effects between research and environmental peacemaking and other branches of research might therefore reveal interesting findings about the potential role of environmental peacemaking in the context of post-conflict countries. Chapter 2 provides a start into this discussion by reviewing some of the core literature on the link between natural resources and violent conflicts, the theoretical background of the environmental peacemaking theory, and some of the literature on post-conflict peacebuilding. Chapter 3 uses the insights gained from this theoretical discussion in order to systematically look for interconnections and spill-over effects. As a result of this discussion, concrete hypotheses about the role of environmental peacemaking in post-conflict countries will be derived. Chapters 4 and 5 contain a discussion of the peacebuilding challenges in Mozambique and Liberia, followed by an analysis of the potential role for environmental peacemaking to support their peacebuilding processes. Chapter 6 contains the conclusions of this discussion, followed by a range of concrete policy recommendations, addressed primarily to the international community.