American and European Responses to the Arab Spring: What’s the Big Idea?

The Arab countries straddle the lifelines of world trade. They link Europe to Asia and, with Iran, surround the Persian Gulf home to some 54 percent of global oil reserves. The region’s many international and domestic disputes, as well as restraints on political expression and human rights, have spawned extremism. In turn, the region’s endemic instability or perceived risk of instability has provided cover for some of the world’s most authoritarian and corrupt regimes. Until the turn of this year, the Arab countries had almost uniformly resisted the process of democratization that swept up other regions in recent decades. The series of popular revolts known as the Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia in the last weeks of 2010, has already wrought more change in six months than the region had seen in almost 60 years and there is more to come. Whether or not the Arab peoples’ aspirations for dignity and voice are fulfilled, and how smoothly transitions to democracy proceed, are not just great moral questions they will also determine the region’s stability and its economic prospects for decades to come. At the same time, getting on a path of sound economic growth will greatly enhance the chances that transitions to democracy succeed.

Threats, Structures, and Resources: Cross-Ideological Coalition Building in Jordan

Throughout the Middle East, Islamists, leftists, and other ideological streams are forming coalitions in opposition to their authoritarian regimes. Yet little research has been conducted on the conditions under which these cross-ideological coalitions fail or succeed. Three cases of successful coalition building and one case of failed coalition building in Jordan indicate that cross-ideological coalitions are initiated in the context of external threat and facilitated by organizational forms that ensure the members gain or maintain their ability to pursue their independent goals. Most important, in contrast to other studies, these cases show that the plentifulness of recruits impedes cooperation. Rather than alleviating competition, an abundance of potential recruits increases competition and hinders cross-ideological cooperation.

Understanding Civil War : Evidence and Analysis, Volume 1. Africa

The two volumes of Understanding Civil War build upon the World Bank’s prior research on conflict and violence, particularly on the work of Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, whose model of civil war onset has sparked much discussion on the relationship between conflict and development in what came to be known as the “greed” versus “grievance” debate. The authors systematically apply the Collier-Hoeffler model to 15 countries in 6 different regions of the world, using a comparative case study methodology to revise and expand upon economic models of civil war. (The countries selected are Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Indonesia, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Caucasus.) The book concludes that the “greed” versus “grievance” debate should be abandoned for a more complex model that considers greed and grievance as inextricably fused motives for civil war.

Understanding Civil War : Evidence and Analysis, Volume 2. Europe, Central Asia, and Other Regions

The two volumes of Understanding Civil War build upon the World Bank’s prior research on conflict and violence, particularly on the work of Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, whose model of civil war onset has sparked much discussion on the relationship between conflict and development in what came to be known as the “greed” versus “grievance” debate. The authors systematically apply the Collier-Hoeffler model to 15 countries in 6 different regions of the world, using a comparative case study methodology to revise and expand upon economic models of civil war. (The countries selected are Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Indonesia, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Caucasus.) The book concludes that the “greed” versus “grievance” debate should be abandoned for a more complex model that considers greed and grievance as inextricably fused motives for civil war.

Containment and territorial transnational actors: Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas

Containment has been salient in intellectual and policy debates for 60 years. It informed US foreign policy towards the USSR and, later, the so-called rogue states. The endurance of containment beyond the Cold War suggests that it possesses the quality of transferability, the capacity of a grand strategy from the past to transcend the circumstances that gave rise to it, to suggest what should be emulated and what avoided in future policies. Drawing on the notion of transferability and on the method of structured, focused comparison, this article uses Israel’s foreign policy towards Hezbollah and Hamas to argue that containment is transferable from the state level to a state/territorial transnational actor (TNA) relationship, albeit with permutations. This argument is examined in relation to four issues: the circumstances under which containment arises; its applicability to territorial TNA; the objectives sought by implementing containment; and the role of legitimacy as a component of containment. In so doing the article seeks to make a contribution to the debate on containment. While there is a rich literature on state containment, research on containing territorial TNA has been extremely limited.

Ending Civil Wars: The Success and Failure of Negotiated Settlements in Civil War

Based on the study of every internationally negotiated civil war settlement between 1980 and 1998, this volume presents the most comprehensive effort to date to evaluate the role of international actors in peace implementation. It looks into promises made by combatants in peace agreements and examines when and why those promises are fulfilled. The authors differentiate between conflicts, showing why Guatemala is not Bosnia, and why strategies that succeed in benign environments fail in more challenging ones. Going beyond attributing implementation failures to a lack of political will, the volume argues that an absence of political will reflects the judgment of major powers of the absence of vital security interests. Overall, the authors emphasize that implementers must tailor their strategies and give priority to certain tasks in implementation, such as demobilizing soldiers and demilitarizing politics, to achieve success.

Conflict Resoultion and Reconciliation in the Arab World: The Work of Civil Society Organizations in Lebanon and Morocco

A tense relationship has marked decades of interaction between Arab regimes and their civil societies in the areas of human rights, democracy, governance reform, justice and reconciliation. While the role of civil society in development, humanitarian and environmental issues has generally been tolerated more easily by Arab governments, the same cannot be said for the areas just mentioned. In recent years there has been greater awareness of the increasing importance of civil society in assisting governments to push forward the wheel of development. There exists, though, no clear assessment of the role of civil society in reform movements or the degree and seriousness of their involvement to date. This article aims to contribute to closing this gap by exploring crucial civil society functions – strengthening civic engagement and community-empowerment – in the specific context of the Arab world, and by introducing the work of a number of organisations in this region. The next section briefly discusses the role of Arab civil society organisations (CSOs) and NGOs and explains some of their functions. Section three reflects on traditional conflict resolution and reconciliation methods and their relation to the “Western field” of conflict resolution. Section four presents cases from Lebanon and Morocco, looking at concrete projects, objectives and achievements of organisations, while section five discusses common challenges. The final section identifies possible next steps in light of the current political developments in the region.

Military Integration after Civil Wars: Multiethnic Armies, Identity and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

This book examines the role of multiethnic armies in post-conflict reconstruction, and demonstrates how they can promote peacebuilding efforts. The author challenges the assumption that multiethnic composition leads to weakness of the military, and shows how a multiethnic army is frequently the impetus for peacemaking in multiethnic societies. Three case studies (Nigeria, Lebanon and Bosnia-Herzegovina) determine that rather than external factors, it is the internal structures that make or break the military institution in a socially challenging environment. The book finds that where the political will is present, the multiethnic military can become a symbol of reconciliation and coexistence. Furthermore, it shows that the military as a professional identity can supersede ethnic considerations and thus facilitates cooperation within the armed forces despite a hostile post-conflict setting. In this, the book challenges widespread theories about ethnic identities and puts professional identities on an equal footing with them.

Conflict among Former Allies after Civil War Settlement: Sudan, Zimbabwe, Chad, and Lebanon

The interesting theoretical question about civil war in general is not why it begins (the possible reasons are surely too many to enumerate) or why it stops (all sorts of contingent explanations from simple fatigue to outside force may apply) but why it so often does not resume when it might. We need to comprehend this process of conflict transformation, whereby the conflict either becomes less important or is pursued without using mass violence. Understandably, most analyses and prescriptions for peacemakers focus on relationships between former enemies and attempts to reduce incentives for them to take up arms again. However, a recent analysis of four negotiated settlements of civil wars (Sudan in 1972, Zimbabwe in 1980, Chad in 1987, and Lebanon in 1989) reveals that in all four cases the critical conflict was actually between former allies. The compromises required in negotiated settlements, combined with the other problems of post-civil war societies, make such conflicts likely. In some cases they led to violence; in Zimbabwe and Lebanon conflict again reached the level of civil war. However, the ironic results was that the countries that had experienced the most violence subsequently produced new settlements which essentially confirmed the original ones and appear to be holding. In Sudan, interallied violence was quite low, but the result was that the government changed its policy, the first settlement was undermined, and the original civil war began again. Outsiders should not assume either that wartime cooperation will continue in peace or that `normal’ peacetime behavior will naturally appear of its own accord. Indeed, they should probably anticipate that ad hoc wartime alliances are likely to dissolve with the risk of renewed civil violence.