Building Peace with Conflict Diamonds? Merging Security and Development in Sierra Leone

This article examines the merging of security and development agendas in primary commodity sectors, focusing on the case of peace-building reforms in Sierra Leone’s diamond sector. Reformers frequently assume that reforming the diamond sector through industrializing alluvial diamond mining will reduce threats to security and development, thereby contributing to peace building. Our findings, however, suggest that the industrialization of alluvial diamond mining that has taken place in Sierra Leone has not reduced threats to security and development, as it has entailed human rights abuses and impoverishment of local communities without consolidating state fiscal revenues and trust in local authorities. This suggests alternative strategies for resource-related peace-building initiatives, which we consider at the end of the article: the decriminalization of informal economic activities; the prioritization of local livelihoods and development needs over central government fiscal priorities and foreign direct investment; and better integration between local economies and industrial resource exploitation.

Resources for Peace? Managing Revenues from Extractive Industries in Post-Conflict Environments

Revenues from extractive sectors such as oil and gas, minerals, and logging play an important role in many post-conflict environments, often providing more than 30% of state fiscal receipts. When managed well, these revenues can help to finance postwar reconstruction and other vital peace-related needs. When mismanaged, however, resource revenues can undermine both economic performance and the quality of governance, thereby heightening the risk of renewed violence. This paper offers a number of proposals for managing revenues from extractive industries to better support peacebuilding.

Corrupting Peace? Peacebuilding and Post-conflict Corruption

Many conflict-affected countries are among the most corrupt in the world, and corruption is frequently reported as a major concern of local populations and foreign aid agencies during transition to peace. Tackling corruption is part of liberal peacebuilding, which seeks to consolidate peace through democracy and free markets economy. Yet liberalization policies may also foster corruption. Using a preliminary analysis of selected corruption perception indicators, this article finds tenuous and divergent support for post-conflict patterns of corruption. Three main arguments linking liberal peacebuilding with higher levels of corruption are then presented for further elaboration, and a research agenda is outlined.

Reconstructing and Reforming the Financial System in Conflict and `Post-Conflict’ Economies

Reconstructing the financial system in countries affected by violent conflict is crucial to successful and broad-based recovery. Particularly important tasks include: currency reform, rebuilding (or creating) central banks, revitalising the banking sector, and strengthening prudential supervision and regulation. Encouragement of private capital into the banking sector must be balanced by protection of the public interest, a task made more difficult by the nature of war-to-peace transition. Bank crises can destabilise economies in recovery from war, and their fiscal burden takes resources away from development and poverty spending – thereby threatening ‘post-conflict’ reconstruction itself.