Culture, Power Asymmetries and Gender in Conflict Transformation

To try and address these three issues in one chapter is quite a challenge. It also makes sense, since they are intimately related. I shall argue that the overarching culture of domination, which has prevailed for thousands of years, provides the framework and cultural sanction for oppression and exploitation, and is characterized by oppressive male/female relationships. I shall relate the need to challenge this culture – and its manifestation in asymmetrical gender constructions and relationships – to the need to address another global power asymmetry created by the last five hundred years of colonization, the asymmetry between ‚the West and the rest‘. This history and the resulting structural relationships have made respectful and honest dialogue about culture-related issues extremely difficult. It also explains the suspicion with which conflict transformation is regarded outside the West. Unless it gives due emphasis to questions of power, to the need for justice in global relationships and to the right to equality of women and other marginalized groups, it will not be taken seriously by most of the world‘s people, or enriched by their experiences and insights. It will also fail to address the question of domination, and arguably help to perpetuate it, acting as a tool for pacification, rather than for the achievement of genuinely peaceful (i.e., just) relationships.

In the first part, I shall discuss the relationship between culture, attitudes to power and power asymmetry, constructions of gender and gender relations and the impact of all three (and of their mutual influence) on conflict and its conduct. In the second part, I shall examine the implications of this for conflict transformation, some of the tensions between the values and ideals it embodies and the realities of the situations it seeks to transform. In the third part of the chapter, I shall consider how the needs of equality, cultural sensitivity and constructive approaches to power can be incorporated into organizations that seek to contribute to conflict transformation, and suggest some elements of good practice in conflict intervention itself. I shall conclude by reflecting on the immensity of the challenges that face us, suggesting that we need to add to rigour and analysis a more fluid and tentative approach.

Diaspora Communities and Civil Conflict Transformation

This working paper deals with the nexus of diaspora communities living in European host countries, specifically in Germany, and the transformation of protracted violent conflicts in a number of home countries, including Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Somalia and Afghanistan. Firstly, the political and social role and importance of diaspora communities vis-à-vis their home and host countries is discussed, given the fact that the majority of immigrants to Germany, as well as to many other European countries, over the last ten years have come from countries with protracted civil wars and have thus had to apply for refugee or asylum status. One guiding question, then, is to what extent these groups can contribute politically and economically to supporting conflict transformation in their countries of origin. Secondly, the role and potentials of diaspora communities originating from countries with protracted violent conflicts for fostering conflict transformation activities are outlined. Thirdly, the current conflict situation in Sri Lanka is analyzed and a detailed overview of the structures and key organizations of the Tamil and Sinhalese diaspora worldwide is given. The structural potentials and levels for constructive intervention for working on conflict in Sri Lanka through the diasporas are then described. Fourthly, the socio-political roles of diaspora communities originating from Cyprus, Palestine, Somalia and Afghanistan for peacebuilding and rehabilitation in their home countries are discussed. The article finishes by drawing two conclusions. Firstly, it recommends the further development of domestic migration policies in Europe in light of current global challenges. Secondly, it points out that changes in foreign and development policies are crucial to make better use of the immense potential of diaspora communities for conflict transformation initiatives and development activities in their home countries.

Opportunities for Synergy: Conflict Transformation and the Corporate Agenda

This divide between the conflict transformation community and the corporate community is remarkable as there is significant overlap between business interests to establish a stable and peaceful working environment and the peace and conflict transformation agenda. So why is it that, generally speaking, companies and conflict transformation advocates have difficulties hearing each other within this debate? Exploring the answers to this question is the starting point of this article. From there, it is necessary to gain an understanding of how companies view conflict transformation, what leverage companies have in relation to their project cycle, what types of conflict transformation activities companies are currently engaged in, and what will be expected from them in the future. Once this is done, it is then possible to discuss some options that are available to both companies and conflict transformation advocates to increase their engagement and become more strategic in working together in areas of mutual interests and joint concern.

War Veterans and Peacebuilding in Former Yugoslavia. A Pilot Project of the Centre for Nonviolent Action (CNA)

In June 2001, an evaluation was carried out by Martina Fischer, focusing on the training concept, training methods, impact of the training on participants (multiplication), networking effects and external perceptions of CNA. As the Training for Trainers programme (TfT) was extended and a new programme series on Dealing with the Past was included in the organisation’s activities in 2002, CNA, together with the Berghof Center, decided to carry out an evaluation in order to document the activities of the Dealing with the Past project so far and assess the impacts achieved during the first phase. It was also agreed that the evaluation study should focus on the progress made in reaching the three major objectives of the project. Finally, the evaluation would assist CNA in its efforts to develop the approach further and identify areas where Dealing with the Past could be integrated more fully into, or linked more effectively with, CNA’s ongoing programme of training in nonviolent action.

Reshaping the Expeditionary Army to Win Decisively: The Case for Greater Stabilization Capacity in the Modular Force

Today, the U.S. Army is decisively engaged in both fighting an unfamiliar type of war and transforming itself to meet the challenges of future warfare. But what are those challenges? What capabilities does U.S. strategy demand of its military instrument? Where are the major capability gaps and how should they inform Army Transformation to ensure the future expeditionary Army has the right campaign qualities? The author argues that the major capability gap in today’s force–and vital for future campaigns–is the ability to conduct stabilization. He explores the changes in U.S. strategy that are the impetus behind the need for greater capacity to conduct post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. Then he analyzes the emerging role of the Army in post-conflict operations in the context of modern combat to more fully understand the specific requirements of stabilization. He then develops an operational concept–progressive stabilization–that complements the Army’s concept of rapid decisive operations, while improving its ability to contribute to long-term conflict resolution. He outlines three key force attributes an expeditionary force structure must have to provide the requisite mix of combat and stabilization capabilities. Finally, he builds on those attributes to suggest three areas where Army leaders must make near-term adjustments in the Modular Force to ensure the nation has a truly expeditionary force with the campaign capacity for both rapid decisive operations and stabilization.

Training for Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation. Experiences of the “Centre for Nonviolent Action” in the Western Balkans

In this essay I will reflect on the effects of training for peacebuilding and nonviolent conflict transformation. I will reflect on these issues from the point of view of a practitioner – a peace activist and trainer for peacebuilding and nonviolent action – and not as a scientist (although we do strive to combine activism and structured thinking and planning in our work). The text reflects peacebuilding experiences through the lens of an insider – although nowadays it is inevitable to think of roles of both insiders and outsiders and their co-relation. The second section presents the goals and methods of CNA’s training work, followed by a third section that outlines lessons learned and recommendations for practice. The fourth section goes beyond the training issue as it discusses general trade-offs and dilemmas we face in our peace work. It also reflects on the difficulty of assessing the impact and influence of training. Training aims at changing the attitudes of individuals. The question is whether conducting “successful” training, or conducting more of these activities, will necessarily lead to a situation where social change will follow. It is a difficult task to generate sustainable force that will have social impact. The fifth section draws conclusions and points to remaining challenges.

Supporting Justice, Co-existence and Reconciliation after Armed Conflict: Strategies for Dealing with the Past

Civil wars and state repression have left many societies traumatised and shattered. Unsolved atrocities and injustices can easily provoke new cycles of violence. Impunity may undermine trust in the legal system, increasing the risk that vigilante justice will be resorted to and encourage further atrocities. Mistrust and hatred between former adversaries inhibits reconstruction, decision making and economic development. An amnesty deal may be required to end violence and enable a peace treaty. The call for compromise and national reconciliation may be necessary to ensure an end to hostilities, but past injustices that are never addressed can easily become a source of renewed violent conflict. Often victims can only make peace with their perpetrators if they know their own suffering and that of their loved ones is officially acknowledged. Furthermore, for the reintegration of perpetrators and victims into society they must be commonly accepted. The first section of this chapter reviews various instruments and institutions that have been established to support peaceful coexistence and the restoration of law. It addresses the following questions: Under which conditions can criminal tribunals, truth commissions or amnesty laws be helpful in dealing with past atrocities? How can property issues be solved through mediation or in community courts? The chapter then outlines some general considerations as to the principles and strategies that should be followed by third parties who seek to support such institutions and instruments. Arguing for a long-term approach, the final section summarises some issues for further debate, pointing to some problematic assumptions and developments that have so far gone hand in hand with the current enthusiasm for international criminal law and truth commissions.

Promoting Group Justice: Fiscal Policies in Post-Conflict Countries

In the aftermath of violent conflict, governments have an opportunity to address fundamental inequalities between internal groups. As taxation and expenditure policies are developed to rebuild a functional domestic economy and infrastructure, policies can be designed to lessen divisions and promote equity. The authors assert that good data about the status quo on inequality in a country is the first step to addressing it through policy. They then discuss some options for formulating a tax code that addresses distributional issues and increases progressivity. Expenditure planning can also be designed to help create equity in income and non-income resources, such as public services, employment, health and education. The role of aid donors is discussed, particularly as a source of successful strategies gleaned from other post-conflict countries.

Trends and Causes of Armed Conflict

From the start of 1990 to the end of 1999 there were 118 armed conflicts world wide, involving 80 states and two para-state regions and resulting in the death of approximately six million people. If we seek to prevent conflict from escalating into armed warfare, or, failing that, to at least achieve an end to fighting as soon as possible, and if we want to maximise the opportunity for avoiding the return of the war after apparent settlement, we must first be sure that we properly understand armed conflicts and their causes. This chapter attempts to provide a brief overview of what is known and understood about the causes of armed conflict. The theoretical basis of that knowledge is both limited and important. It is limited, in that it does not offer much by way of general explanation of the phenomenon of armed conflict; this is, perhaps, hardly surprising, given its complexity and diversity. It is also important because it provides valuable guidance as to where to look when analysing individual conflicts for signs of potential escalation and when seeking opportunities for preventing violent escalation. The chapter begins by discussing the incidence and nature of armed conflicts during the 1990s. It then reviews the current state of theoretical knowledge with the aim of providing not only an overview but also a source of further reference, before proceeding to methodology. The article then identifies the paired concepts of justice and mobilisation as the best way to link different types and levels of causes, to connect the short-term with the long-term and to relate the socio-economic background with the political foreground. It illustrates this by looking more closely at the category referred to as ethnic conflict.

The Civilisation of Conflict: Constructive Pacifism as a Guiding Notion for Conflict Transformation

How, and by what means, is peace constituted? In the first two decades of the twentieth century, a leading pacifist, Alfred H. Fried, set this fundamental question at the heart of the pacifist programme. Causal pacifism was the key term. The doctrine of causal or cause/effect pacifism is therefore rooted in an attempt to think systematically about the prerequisites and conditions for peace. Irrespective of whether or not this specific term was used by individual authors, causal pacifism was a key academic and practical issue in the classical pacifism debate. It is one of the great tragedies of the twentieth century that this concept declined in popularity among pacifist movements and finally became a non-issue. In a twentieth century marked by violence, war, genocide and mutual threats of destruction within the framework of deterrence, antimilitarism – for quite understandable reasons – came to dominate the pacifist agenda and shape its thinking and action. In short, causal pacifism and comparable approaches could therefore also be described as ‘constructive pacifism’ – a pacifism that is geared to the construction and architecture of peace.

Conflict Transformation Through Educational and Youth Programs

Within a broad-based, multidimensional approach to Conflict Transformation, youth and educational work is a cross-cutting challenge. It should feed into many fields of activity (e.g. health care, media work, labour market policy, etc.), especially during phases of conflict latency and in post-conflict situations. This article examines the theoretical and conceptual debate about the teaching of peace and conflict resolution skills. No off-the-shelf solutions can be formulated. On the contrary, peace education faces complex and even contradictory challenges. For example, the tension between individual behavioural patterns at micro level and social policy actions at macro level cannot be dismantled. The article explores the various intervention options available within formal education (schools and vocational training) and non-formal education (social work, youth work and adult education). Ten potential fields of activity are identified: inter-institutional cooperation, education structures, language education, teaching materials/curriculum development, participation and peer group education, programmes for children and families, storytelling/remembrance, integration and community work, international exchange, and training/re-training of educators. Further research is required in some fields which pose particular challenges, e.g. work with parents, pre-school education, intergenerational learning, linking remembrance with current human rights issues, and the role of spirituality. Above all, the prevailing Western individualised notion of education, on which most peace education concepts – including this article – are still based, must be critically reappraised

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.

From Resolution to Transformation: The Role of Dialogue Projects

Dialogues can be viewed as one means – if not the classical one – of dealing constructively with conflicts. In the following, I propose to examine some of the core features of dialogue projects, looking at their variations and implications in greater detail. First I will give an overview of several different ‘ideal types’ of dialogues, as well as identifying the basic elements of most dialogue processes. Second, I will distinguish between four concepts of dialogue work, a taxonomy which serves primarily to illustrate the practical nature of such projects. Third, dialogue projects will be set in the context of various approaches to handling conflict, in order to better establish criteria for measuring success. Fourth, I will present a number of lessons learned in the course of recent evaluation studies. The questions raised above will be discussed at the end, on the basis of the underlying empirical experience on which this chapter is based.

The U.K. in Sierra Leone: Post-Conflict Operation Success?

When Britain sent military advisers to Sierra Leone in 2000, the former colony had been devastated by a decade-long civil war. The U.N. mission had failed to get the rebels to disarm… Advisers undertook the structural, institutional reform of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces: its training organization, command structure, administration, supply, maintenance, and personnel management systems…In addition to security, there are two more necessary elements to allow post-conflict reconstruction to take place. One is governance, including the electoral process, the minimizing of corruption, law and order, and a working financial system. The other is essential services: electricity, clean water, basic health and sanitation, communications…If these three things are put in place, then business can function, and it is business that does reconstruction best. Governments, armies, institutions like the U.N. are too slow and bureaucratic and always under-resourced.

Employing the Environment as a Peacebuilding Tool: Environmental Peacemaking in the Context of Post-conflict Peacebuilding in Liberia and Mozambique

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.

Assessing the State-of-the-Art in Conflict Transformation

The following analysis aims to provide some direction through the jungle of conceptual and definitional imprecision that is prevalent in the overall field of conflict management and conflict transformation. The guiding question in this analysis is how to map out conceptually and theoretically the fields of conflict management and conflict transformation. This question will be discussed in the context of the conflict management field with reference to three possible approaches: conflict settlement, conflict resolution and conflict transformation. To give the following analysis a useful framework, I will first focus on the research agenda and research questions, and then move forward to review the role of theory and research methods.

Designing Transformation and Intervention Processes

The chapter presents a variety of approaches and instruments used in the external planning of civilian peace interventions, taking into consideration that outside intervening actors‘ role is to support actors from within the conflict region. On three different levels of intervention: macro (top level), meso (mid-level) and micro (grassroots), the author discusses ten critical issues: the need for vision, goals and commitment; methods of analysing conflicts and actors; strategies and roles of intervening actors; the ongoing search for right partners and entry points; timing interventions; thinking in processes and building structures; criteria for the recruitment of field staff; coordination and cooperation; the inclusion of the goals of sustainability and building learning into the process of interventions.

“Frameworkers” and “Circlers” – Exploring Assumptions in Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment

[carouselgallery number=”-1″ category=””]This article was borne out of a need to bring together two contending constituencies and their arguments about why and how to identify impact in peacebuilding initiatives in practice. The two constituencies, which I call “frameworkers” and “circlers” in this article, involve sets of people who blend across the lines of development and conflict transformation work and possess very different arguments about how to conceptualise and operationalise issues of impact and change in programme design, monitoring and evaluation. In this article, I begin by outlining the two basic constituencies. I then briefly review the current status of peacebuilding monitoring and evaluation, and reflect on which constituency dominates at present. This is followed by an analysis of a series of topics that are debated between the two groups; some of these topics are debated openly and addressed by other works that examine peacebuilding monitoring and evaluation, and some lie below the surface or are not articulated as debates. Finally, I present some concrete examples of ways that peacebuilding or other social change oriented programmes have adpoted to bridge the positions in practice and identify practices that can strengthen particular areas that are currently under-developed and can benefit programmes.

Administration and Governance in Kosovo: Lessons Learned and Lessons To Be Learned

This paper aims to study the dynamics of the post-war administration of Kosovo by the international community. By assessing the UN Mission in Kosovo and its implementation of both civilian and military components of its mandate, this paper identifies key successes and failures related to the administrative dynamics post-war Kosovo. The paper is organized in four different sections, each one addressing a particular issue related to UNMIK’s performance and drawing the reader’s attention to possible lessons that may be learned from the experience. In the first section, we concentrate on key aspects of Kosovo’s recent history and its place in the regional and international context. This is followed by a section that examines the performance of three security agencies — the international military force led by NATO, the international civilian police and the local police service. We then analyze interethnic relations after the war and evaluate the efforts of various international and local actors in promoting reconciliation, dealing with property issues that affect community relations and facilitating the return of displaced populations. Finally, the paper looks at the divided city of Mitrovica as a case study, testing the saliency of issues of international engagement in local levels of administration in post-war Kosovo.

Civil-Military Cooperation in Peace Operations: The Case of Kosovo

The humanitarian intervention in Kosovo provides an excellent case study of civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) in peace operations. The intervention required 40,000 heavily armed combat troops from NATO and Partnership for Peace countries to provide security and coordinate relief efforts with the UN, the OSCE, and over 500 humanitarian organizations. CIMIC provided the mechanism for such cooperation and support. Like any concept employed in coalition warfare, CIMIC varied widely in the quality of its application. This study examines the effectiveness of CIMIC within each brigade area and throughout the province as a whole. It identifies best practices and common mistakes to derive lessons that might inform the conduct of future missions, such as those currently underway in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Conflict, Social Change and Conflict Resolution – An Enquiry

The literature dealing systematically with the connections between change and conflict is hardly extensive, and that directly dealing with precise relationships between change and conflict resolution is even more sparse. In a way, this is surprising, for many writers in the field have made implicit, and in some cases explicit, connections between some form of change and the formation of conflicts, while others discuss conflict “dynamics” as well as those changes that are needed before any kind of resolution of a conflict can realistically be sought. A recent (and admittedly unsystematic) search of one university’s modest library revealed over 420 entries combining the words “change” and “conflict” in their title, while a similar search of a data bank of dissertation abstracts produced over 3,500 such citations. The essay, then, starts with an attempt to set out a framework for thinking systematically about the relationship between conflict and change, distinguishing between changes that create conflicts and those which make conflict more intense or which help to ameliorate it. This leads to a discussion of the nature of “change” itself, and the kinds of change that seem relevant to creating or resolving protracted conflict. The latter half of the paper switches focus to consider changes necessary to bring about the resolution (or transformation) of a conflict, once it is thoroughly under way – as well as common obstacles to bringing about such “resolutionary” changes. Finally, I suggest ways of thinking about possible actors that can help to bring about resolutionary change, and what strategies might be necessary to move protracted and intractable conflicts towards some lasting and self supporting solution.

Right-Financing Security Sector Reform

Security sector reform (SSR) in post-conflict environments encompasses a broad range of efforts to improve capacity, governance, performance, and sustainability. The fiscal implications of SSR decisions often are neglected, however. The negative consequences of this neglect include unsustainable reforms, the squeezing out of other vital sectors, and ultimately under-provision of security itself. This paper argues for a “right-financing” approach to SSR that strikes an appropriate balance between current needs and the goal of building a fiscally sustainable security sector. The paper offers four policy proposals: first, build fiscal dimensions of the security sector into peace agreements, post-conflict needs assessments, development strategies, and expenditure planning; second, align short-run policies with long-term budgetary realities; third, move to a “service-delivery” model based on provision of law-and-order and justice services to the citizens; and finally, strengthen international capacities to support these right-financing policies.

Conflict Transformation: A Mutli-Dimensional Task

This paper aims to identify what is distinctive about conflict transformation theory and practice, as well as to identify its key dimensions. We need such a theory of conflict transformation if we are to have an adequate basis for the analysis of conflicts, as well as for devising appropriate responses to them and evaluating the effects of these responses. The paper argues that such theories need to be continually adjusted in response to the changing nature of conflicts, and that current theories must be adapted in order to take proper account of the globalisation of conflicts and conflict interventions. The first section of the article distinguishes conflict transformation theory from theories of conflict management and conflict resolution. It explores some of the principal conflict transformation approaches in more detail, and then asks whether they add up to a coherent body of theory. Following this, it suggests a shift from theories of conflict to theories of conflict-in-context, arguing that in the context of globalisation our analyses of conflict must give proper consideration to the social, regional and international context. We need to consider both the factors that promote peacebuilding and those that exacerbate conflict at these different levels over an extended time period from before the outbreak of violent conflict to well after its resolution. Within this broader setting, this section thus attempts to extend Galtung‘s and Azar‘s theories of conflict formation to theories of conflict transformation. It also proposes a framework of five types of conflict transformation, which should be useful as a basis for planning and assessing interventions in conflicts. The second section of the article discusses current developments in conflict transformation practice as they have occurred in the four principal kinds of practice – that of governmental and intergovernmental representatives, of development agencies, of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and of local parties and groups within the conflict setting. The issues involved in coordinating initiatives between these different groups are also discussed. The final section of the paper discusses conflict transformation as a potential seed for change, requiring change both in the peacebuilder as well as in the society in conflict.

Using the Media for Conflict Transformation: The Common Ground Experience

Founded in 1982, CG is a non-governmental organization (NGO) funded by donations from a range of foundations, governments, businesses, multilateral organizations and individuals. Striving for winwin solutions in cross-cultural integration, CG engages in a long-term process of transformation primarily through media-related projects. This comprises a wide spectrum of very different media work formats, even peace songs, street theatre, posters or comics . Using one of these types or a combination of activities, CG strives to strengthen local capacities to deal with conflict. CG has been working in Angola, Burundi, Greece and Turkey, Iran and the United States, Liberia, Macedonia, the Middle East, Sierra Leone, the Ukraine, Indonesia, and the Balkans. The work of CG is illustrated here to outline the potential of media in conflict transformation.

Transforming Cultural Conflict in an Age of Complexity

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the cultural dimensions of conflict. Books, studies, and courses have offered perspectives on the nature of culture and its complex relationship to the transformation of conflict. Yet, ethnic and cultural fault-lines in multiple destructive conflicts continue to bring high-profile reminders of the frailty of our approaches when faced with generational hatred and enemy identities. What has brought culture onto centre stage as a feature of conflict? Among other factors, the role of world militaries continues to shift from cold war strategies of deterrence to hot peace missions of peace keeping and peace building. These deployments typically involve multinational forces in countries divided by intense ethnic conflicts, necessitate extended interaction with local cultures, and frequently include efforts to strengthen civil societies that are deeply rooted in diverse cultural and historical traditions. Thus, these teams themselves experience cultural miscommunications and conflicts as they are dealing with the same in the populations they have come to serve. In this article, I will focus on ways culture operates both as a resource and a barrier. The next section will present three metaphorical perspectives: first, culture as a lens, secondly, culture as a medium for sustaining life, and, lastly, culture as a symbolic, interactive system, both shaping and reflecting identity and meaning. Each of these perspectives informs the contextual approach to transforming intercultural conflict that I will present in the final section.

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.

Prevention of Ethnic Conflict: Lessons from Romania

The general aim of the paper is to examine conclusions stemming from empirical research and contribute to the studies on the possibility of ethnic conflict prevention. The analysis has the following goals: a) Exploration of case study related to the situation of the Hungarian minority in Romania since the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu and the 1990 confrontation to the results of 2000 elections and their aftermath. b) Discussion on practical lessons for ethnic conflict prevention that could be drawn from the case after ten years of developments. c) Formulation of initial conclusions concerning the relevance of the Romanian experience for a model of ethnic conflict dynamics.

From Miraculous to Disastrous: The Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire

The 1999 coup d’état in Côte d’Ivoire shocked Ivorians and members of the international community alike. Yet the political instability and subsequent violence in this country is not wholly unexpectedThis report, which is based on reliable secondary sources, is intended both as a background document and as a basis for further research on the Ivorian conflict.

The Role of Local Business in Peacebuilding

International attention has turned in recent years towards the critical, some would argue decisive, role that economic factors play in driving and perpetuating contemporary violent conflicts. A key aspect of this debate is the behaviour and impact of the private sector. Understandably, the discussions (at least on the NGO side) have largely centred on Transnational Corporations (TNCs), particularly those from the extractive sector and most often in the context of their negative impact on conflict. The well documented cases of Colombia and Nigeria, amongst others, illustrate the importance both of understanding these impacts and of acting to ensure the obvious potential benefits of natural resources accrue to societies as a whole rather than privileged elites. However, framing the ‘business and conflict’ debate in such a one-dimensional manner risks ignoring not only the immense diversity of the private sector but also the potentially constructive role businesses of various sizes and types can play in addressing conflict. It is one of the ironies of conflict transformation theory and practice that despite the evidence that local business has an important part to play, and a strong interest, in supporting peacebuilding initiatives, significantly less effort has been directed towards analysing and facilitating its role than for that of TNCs. This article aims to start addressing this gap by exploring four key questions: why to engage local business, how to do it, what form engagement can take, and with whom it is most likely to succeed. We base our propositions on involvement in and analysis of a substantive number of research, advocacy and consultancy projects. While we work from a broad collection of examples of potential business roles in conflict and peacebuilding, the cases are illustrative, and more systematic research and testing of hypotheses will be necessary.

Consilience of Knowledge for Sustained Positive Peace

The articles by Hugh Miall and Cordula Reimann in Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation (2001) attempt to map out a distinct theory of conflict transformation, but in the process they present the field of conflict resolution as a problem-solving theory (herein after, referred individually as ‘Article 1’ and ‘Article 2’, and collectively as ‘the Articles’). Conflict resolution is represented in the Articles by singularity of strategy, target group and as envisaging an end point to conflicts, when parties arrive at a ‘positive sum outcome’. This leads to a claim that conflict resolution is a relatively simplistic approach to contemporary conflicts, hence the Articles consider and develop conflict transformation as a more realistic approach to protracted violent conflict situations. This paper has two main aims; one, to provide an evaluation of the Articles and two, to raise the possibility of consilience at the level of knowledge, as the mainspring of ideas for concerted efforts to the problem of how sustained positive peace may be achieved in cases of protracted violent conflicts? “Consilience,” a term coined in the 19th century, refers to the uniting or integration of knowledge. At the outset, this paper evaluates the assessment of conflict settlement in Article 2, to highlight the contrast between the mainstream view and Article 2. Following this, the definition of conflict resolution proposed in Article 2 is appraised- to demonstrate dimensions and aims of conflict resolution which are reflected in the definition, yet not in the Articles. This paper then inquires into the original intentions of the architects of the problem-solving approach, the philosophy and background to their research agenda. In essence, their approach was very much a response to “power politics”- the dominant paradigm at that time (in the 60s). More importantly, the originators of the problem-solving approach do not claim their approach and its techniques as defining the field of conflict resolution.

Participatory Action-Research in Post-Conflict Situations: The Example of the War-Torn Societies Project

This report provides an overview of the War-torn Societies Project (WSP). The WSP began in 1994 as an experimental project. It facilitates the active involvement of local, national and international actors in ongoing collective research and dialogue that allows societies emerging from conflict to better understand and respond to the challenges of social, economic and political reconstruction. Headquartered in Geneva and supported by almost thirty donor governments and aid agencies, WSP has been engaged in experimental field-based activities in Eritrea, Guatemala, Mozambique and Somalia over the past six years. WSP contributes to the recovery and strengthening of societies emerging from conflict by bringing together indigenous actors (including former adversaries and victims) to set priorities, build consensus and formulate responses, aided by participatory action-research, and with the help of regular consultation with external aid providers. WSP’s carefully defined methodology embodies principles of local capacity and responsibility; wide-ranging participation; better understanding of differing interests and objectives; proper use of relevant data and analysis in integrative decision-making; practical policy impact; and a catalytic rather than a dominating role by international actors. In mid-2000, the experimental pilot phase of the project evolved into the establishment of a successor body. Under the name ‘WSP International’, the project’s work will be further tested in new country projects with new variables in order to draw further lessons.

Hawks and Doves: Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution

Peacekeeping has long been treated as an instrument of conflict management, which is unfortunately flawed in that it usually fails to address the underlying causes of the conflict. However, we will focus on its capacity as a tool for conflict resolution, paying particular attention to the dual goal of containing violence on the one hand and furthering peacebuilding efforts on the other. While we recognise, of course, that peacekeeping has over the years been performed by various organisations, this chapter will centre on United Nations peacekeeping, reasoning that many of the aspects explored here are obviously relevant to the peacekeeping efforts of other organisations as well. The first section outlines the parameters of contemporary peacekeeping. The second section elaborates on the significance of conflict research and theory building for peacekeeping practice. This will be further explored in three contexts: conflict analysis and its relevance for the establishment of intervention frameworks; differing time frames and the importance of distinguishing between these in managing violent conflict, especially in relation to the latest discussions on robust peacekeeping; specific skills and the training necessary for contemporary peacekeeping missions, focusing especially on the contribution of conflict resolution. This section concludes with a discussion of perspectives on, and examples of, the application of conflict resolution theory in peacekeeping. The final section discusses future priorities and needs and concludes by commenting on the future of peacekeeping in the light of latest efforts to strengthen the UN‘s peacekeeping capacity.

Obstacles Within the International Community: The Exercise of Afghan Women’s Agency for Peace in Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Under the Taliban’s draconian interpretation of Shari’a law, Afghan women were forced from public life and publicly executed for minor infractions. Yet, in just over two years since the Taliban fell, the women of Afghanistan have entered the political arena and successfully pressed for specific language in the Afghan constitution enshrining women’s rights as human rights. From being the most oppressed women in the world to enjoying the promise of more seats in Parliament than many Western nations, Afghan women have clearly made gigantic strides in their quest for peace and security. Their remarkable progress, however, is overshadowed by the current unstable security situation in Afghanistan and the lack of international political and military assistance which are needed to consolidate the successes that the Afghan women have realized. How has this seemingly rapid transformation of Afghan women occurred? The answer may partially lie in the concept of development as freedom put forth by Amartya Sen in his 1999 book, Development as Freedom …In his view, people are not simply human capital to be considered only as one part of three in an economic equation for development, but people-liberated from ‘unfreedoms’ such as poverty and illiteracy-who can build capacity through their own agency as the Afghan women have done.

Architects of the State: International Organizations and the Reconstruction of States in the Global South

Since the G-7 called for a new international financial architecture, international financial institutions have been designing templates for markets and the laws that govern them. Corporate bankruptcy regimes have been among the bundle of reform packages urged upon developing and transitional countries. While widely enacted and formally instituted, however, many bankruptcy reforms have failed to meet expectations. Among the reasons for failure is a fundamental threat with which international organizations confront states, namely, the restructuring of the state itself. Corporate reorganization regimes reformed in compliance with global norms conventionally demand state reorganization. This paper demonstrates how global designs of bankruptcy regimes fared in three Asian countries variously affected by the Asian Financial Crisis: China, Indonesia and Korea. It examines four aspects of state restructuring: shifting the boundary between the market and state; shifting power among government agencies; vesting powers in the state; and adapting state structure to political society. The paper argues that the efficacy of transnational pressures for state restructuring turns on the recursive interplay of (a) the situation in which global designs come to be placed on national policy agendas, (b) the clarity of the global norms, (c) the power of the international organizations, (d) the weakness of nation-states, (e) the magnitude of the shift in power required by a state to conform to global designs, (f) the continuity of exogenously encouraged reforms with domestic trajectories for change, and (g) the extent of local demand and mobilization.

Transformation and the Independence of the Judiciary in South Africa

This paper is intended to provide a perspective on questions related to the independence of the judiciary in present-day South Africa. While South Africa is no longer in the heart of its political transition, the legacy of apartheid rule is still strongly felt and post-apartheid “transformation” continues to be a central concern of government and society more broadly. But how does judicial independence relate to transformation? Rather than conceiving of it as a separate issue, this paper departs from the point of view that the consolidation of judicial independence is a key dimension of the process of judicial transformation in South Africa. If this is so, the question arises as to whether there may be tensions between independence and other key elements of transformation, including the creation of a judiciary that is representative of the people and that is dedicated to protecting and promoting South Africa’s constitutional values, fostering an atmosphere of judicial accountability, and improving the efficiency and appropriateness of the justice system to ensure access to justice for all people.

Dealing with the Past in the Context of Ethnonationalism. The Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia

This text is based on a thesis that was presented at the Department of Peace Studies at Coventry University. The thesis presents a range of efforts being undertaken by civil society groups in the region, highlighting the absence of initiatives on the part of the government(s) and the wider public sphere(s). It concludes with an appeal to form broader alliances, and to also seek partners beyond those groups already working in this field. This implies, however, that two frequently observed tendencies among NGOs – both the mutual suspicion with which they regard each other, and the widespread prejudice that all politicians are incurable ethnonationalists – must first be overcome.

Methods of Third-Party Intervention

This article will focus first on the method of mediation, acknowledging its role as one of the most commonly applied and studied forms of intervention in conflicts. This will set the larger stage for a consideration of the various forms and functions of third-party intervention, some of which draw their appeal from their supplementary nature to mediation and negotiation. A rudimentary model for matching types of interventions to the stage of conflict escalation will be presented as an initial heuristic for realizing the potential complementarity of different forms of intervention. Finally, a number of issues will be identified that can affect the overall current and future usefulness of third-party intervention in addressing the multitude of destructive conflicts that regularly beset humankind.

Civil Society in Conflict Transformation: Ambivalence, Potentials and Challenges

In particular, this article focuses on the potential contributions of civil society actors for peacebuilding and conflict transformation.1 Some of the central questions addressed in this text are: What types of activities do international and transnational NGOs undertake in order to influence international politics in a way that contributes to stable peace and coping with global challenges? What potential do actors from civil society offer for war-to-peace transitions? What problems and dilemmas are faced in the development of civil society in war-torn societies? What are the limitations of civil society’s contributions and how does it relate to state-building? Finally, how does any of this impact on theoretical conceptualisations of the term “civil society”? By way of elaborating these questions, the second section of this article discusses various terms and definitions linked to debates about civil society. The third section gives a general overview of NGO activities at the international and regional level. The fourth section presents a critical assessment of their roles and the fifth section deals with their impact and legitimacy. The sixth section addresses the potential contributions of civil society in war-torn societies and post-conflict peacebuilding, with specific reference to the last 10 years of experience in the Balkans. The seventh section contextualises the development of civil society in relation to the challenges of state-building and investigates the theoretical implications of this relationship for conceptualising the term “civil society”. The eighth section draws some central conclusions, makes policy recommendations and identifies the needs for further research.

Recovering From Violent Conflict: Regeneration and (Re-)Integration as Elements of Peacebuilding

In the last decade of the 20th century 43 countries have been considered as countries emerging from violent conflicts. Most of them were affected by intra-state wars and civil wars, and most of these belong to the category of the poorest (“less developed countries” according to criteria of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). An extraordinary high percentage was located in the African continent. The international community pledged more than one hundred billion dollars in aid to war-torn societies. These were designed to build up infrastructure, to persuade formerly warring parties to resolve conflict in a non-violent way and to contribute to economic development and participatory governance. Experts and political actors have stated that international agencies often used too narrowminded a concept in the past, reducing their activities to technical reconstruction after the end of violent conflict. A broader conceptualisation is needed to support the difficult long-term process of transformation from war to peace. This chapter gives an overview of the variety of tasks required to make post-conflict recovery successful in the sense of preventing further conflict and some tensions and dilemmas are identified and discussed.

Reconciliatory Justice: Amnesties, Indemnities and Prosecutions in South Africa’s Transition

This report was written with the intention of providing information and enhancing the debate around accountability processes, and in particular further prosecutions in South Africa. The report begins with an overview of the international obligations around holding perpetrators accountable within post-conflict societies. This overview also includes a description of attempts in Argentina and Chile to pursue prosecutions in conjunction with (or following upon) a truth commission. The next section of the report focuses specifically on South Africa, and consolidates the information on indemnities, amnesties and prosecutions from the 1990s to present. A legal analysis of the amended prosecution guidelines, passed in 2005 is then provided. This analysis is provided in that it is deemed as a policy which has, and will continue to, affect prosecutions for “conflicts of the past.” The report then continues with a case study of the Highgate Massacre of 1993, which explores the opportunities and challenges for further investigations and prosecutions. Finally, some concluding remarks are made which highlights some of the key points outlined through the report.

Nonviolent Resistance and Conflict Transformation in Power Asymmetries

This article argues that nonviolent resistance should instead be seen as an integral part of conflict transformation, offering one possible approach to achieving peace and justice, alongside other methods of conflict intervention focusing on dialogue, problem-solving and the restoration of cooperative relationships (e.g. mediation, negotiation, restorative justice, etc.). It is especially relevant for the early transitional stage of latent asymmetric conflicts, as a strategy for empowering grievance groups (oppressed minorities or disempowered majorities) looking for constructive and efficient ways to attain justice, human rights and democracy without recourse to violence. While nonviolent techniques have been widely used by single-interest groups such as trade unions and anti-nuclear, indigenous or environmentalist movements, this article refers primarily to nation-wide campaigns by identity or national groups who are challenging internal oppression or external aggression and occupation, and seeking either self-determination or civil rights in a truly democratic and multicultural state. Although nonviolent action has also been advocated as a national strategy of civilian-based defence and dissuasion against external aggression, this article focuses more specifically on ways it has been applied by non-state actors such as social movements and grassroots organisations.

Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario

In October 2002, the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, in coordination with the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff/G-3, initiated a study to analyze how American and coalition forces can best address the requirements that will necessarily follow operational victory in a war with Iraq. The objectives of the project were to determine and analyze probable missions for military forces in a post-Saddam Iraq; examine associated challenges; and formulate strategic recommendations for transferring responsibilities to coalition partners or civilian organizations, mitigating local animosity, and facilitating overall mission accomplishment in the war against terrorism. The study has much to offer planners and executors of operations to occupy and reconstruct Iraq, but also has many insights that will apply to achieving strategic objectives in any conflict after hostilities are concluded. The current war against terrorism has highlighted the danger posed by failed and struggling states. If this nation and its coalition partners decide to undertake the mission to remove Saddam Hussein, they will also have to be prepared to dedicate considerable time, manpower, and money to the effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fighting is over. Otherwise, the success of military operations will be ephemeral, and the problems they were designed to eliminate could return or be replaced by new and more virulent difficulties.

State Building and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Lessons From Bosnia

This paper examines the record of the international community in constructing a State of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It finds that, among the many goals of the peace mission, creating a self-sustaining constitutional order has not always been the highest priority. Only recently has the international community begun to focus explicitly on creating the domestic institutions necessary for Bosnia to become a sustainable entity. The paper identifies three principal obstacles to the state-building mission. First, the Dayton Agreement created a highly dispersed constitutional structure, with weak central authority. Second, wartime conditions in Bosnia gave rise to local power structures with a vested interest in preserving the weak state. Third, weak governance capacity in the Bosnian state is itself a threat to the peace process, fostering conditions of economic and social insecurity. Examining the record of the mission to date, the paper finds that here have been three phases to the international mission in Bosnia. The first focused on military stabilisation and reconstruction, and was characterised by the willingness of the international community to work directly with local power structures, often at the expense of the constitutional order. The second phase saw a dramatic evolution in the powers of the High Representative, allowing some important breakthroughs. However, the quasi-protectorate has tended to inhibit the development of domestic political processes, particularly where the international community has tried to influence electoral outcomes. The third phase, which is just getting underway, consists of a more systematic approach to state building.

Environmental Peacebuilding in War-Torn Societies: Some Lessons from the UN Environment Programme’s Experience with Postconflict Environmental Assessment

This paper examines the experience of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), specifically, its Post-Conflict Assessment Unit (PCAU), as an instrument of post-conflict environmental peacemaking. The ecological challenges facing war-torn societies can be as daunting as the social ones, as people struggle to provide themselves with clean water, sanitation, food and energy supplies in settings marked by toxification, the destruction of infrastructure, the loss of livelihoods, and the disruption of local institutions. Over time, these immediate environmental difficulties evolve into more diffuse but equally important challenges: establishing systems of environmental governance, creating the requisite administrative and institutional capacity, and finding sustainable trajectories for economic reconstruction and development. If handled effectively, environmental challenges may create a solid foundation for peace and sustainable development; if handled poorly, they risk undercutting the already tenuous peace that typically marks such situations. The paper identifies common patterns across several recent cases in which UNEP/PCAU has been active. Particular attention is paid to UNEP’s impact, or lack thereof, with regard to four core themes: (1) the problem of reconstituting government; (2) monitoring and assessment challenges in militarized environments; (3) linking environmental assistance and humanitarian aid; and (4) moving from environmental clean-up to planning and administration.

The Role of Women in Stabilization and Reconstruction

It is widely recognized that women and young people are primary victims of conflict. During war, women are displaced, subjected to sexual violence and HIV/AIDS by fighting forces, and assume the caretaking role for children and the elderly. They are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, sexual slavery, disease, and forced recruitment into armed groups. Yet as the survivors of violent conflict, women also bear the burden of reconstruction. They return to destroyed communities and begin the process of rebuilding infrastructure; restoring and developing traditions, laws, and customs; and repairing relationships. In government and through civil society, women worldwide are contributing to all pillars of stabilization and reconstruction operations: security, governance, justice and reconciliation, and socioeconomic development. Indeed, their leadership in the transition period can serve as a window of opportunity to empower women, promote gender equality, advance women’s position in society, and bring wider benefits to many elements of society. A growing body of research has shown that capitalizing on the activities of women peacebuilders not only advances women’s rights, but leads to more effective programs and, ultimately, to a more sustainable peace.

Commercial Security in Humanitarian and Post-Conflict Settings: An Exploratory Study

Commercial security is increasingly present in humanitarian and post-conflict settings. The UN has even considered using commercial security to solve peacekeeping shortfalls. Yet using commercial security in these settings raises difficult ethical, operational and strategic questions. This exploratory study begins to describe the decentralized, ad hoc use of commercial security in these settings, in an attempt to provoke the further research and discussion needed before these questions can be adequately answered. The study involved forty-four interviews with senior officials, describing their organizations’ relations with commercial security providers. It deals with a wide variety of users and providers, while highlighting common themes and previously obscured fault lines.

Towards Conflict Transformation and a Just Peace

This chapter is an attempt to do two things: first, to make sense of some of the economic, political and social origins and dynamics of organised violence; second, determine how conflict analysis and conflict resolution processes might enable diverse actors concerned with violent conflict at the official and unofficial levels to change the attitudes, behaviours and institutions which generate structural (indirect) and direct violence. It will begin with an acknowledgement of the centrality of structural transformation for stable peace and an analysis of some of the underlying political and economic dynamics that form the backdrop to modern conflict. It will then examine how and why conflict resolution practitioners should focus more attention on the political economy of conflict in the analysis, design and implementation of conflict intervention processes.

Options for Revenue Generation in Post-Conflict Environments

In the wake of violent conflict, a key element of building a durable peace is building a state with the ability to collect and manage public resources. To implement peace accords and to provide public services, the government must be able to collect revenue, allocate resources, and manage expenditure in a manner that is regarded by its citizens as effective and equitable. In this new PERI Working Paper, Michael Carnahan of the Australian National University grapples with the impact of conflict on policy, administrative systems, and overall activity, as well as the impact of pressures from the international community. The author makes five specific recommendations, including a link between revenue collections and donor aid, a reassessment of U.N. policies, changes in tax policies for foreign workers and donors’ contractors, and establishing urban land taxation systems.

Winning the Peace: Principles for Post-Conflict Operations

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has relearned painful lessons on how to win the peace. Institutionalizing these lessons requires establishing a common national strategic concept for post-conflict operations. Post-conflict operations are among the most difficult to plan and execute, even under the best of circumstances. Expectations that post-conflict activities will be smooth, uncomplicated, frictionless, and nonviolent are unrealistic, as is the assumption that grievous policy errors or strategic misjudgments cause all difficulties. The Administration and Congress must adopt policies that ensure effective interagency operations and unity of effort. Successful post-conflict operations cannot be planned effectively in Foggy Bottom or the Pentagon. Planning and implementation must be done in theater, in concert with the military combatant commands.

Building States to Build Peace

There is increasing consensus among scholars and policy analysts that successful peacebuilding can occur only in the context of capable state institutions. But how can legitimate and sustainable states best be established in the aftermath of civil wars? And what role should international actors play in supporting the vital process? Addressing these questions, this state-of-the-art volume explores the core challenges involved in institutionalizing postconflict states. The combination of thematic chapters and in-depth case studies covers the full range of the most vexing and diverse problems confronting domestic and international actors seeking to build states while building peace. Case studies include: Somalia, Palestine, Bosnia, East Timor / Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Liberia

Neither Loyalty, Nor Fear: Some Thoughts on Building Greater Respect for Justice and Law in South Africa

In the midst of the current crisis of crime and violence, it seems almost trite to state that there is a need for greater respect for justice and the law in South Africa. As reflected in some recent studies on organised crime, attitudes of ambivalence towards the law on the part of many South Africans contribute to an environment in which organised, and other crime, flourishes. Known criminals are widely tolerated, or even admired – notably if they are perceived as preying on people from other communities. This forms part of a culture which also condones other illegal practices, spanning everything from the buying of stolen goods and illegal reconnections, to corruption and white-collar crime. The fact that there is also a significant problem of vigilantism is also obviously a manifestation of a lack of respect for the law. Vigilantism is, in part, motivated by the sense that people have that they need to take the law into their own hands as they cannot rely on the criminal justice system to enforce the law. This belief in the ineffectiveness of the criminal justice system in turn provides vigilantes with the confidence that, in punishing the alleged perpetrators of the original crime, they themselves can violate the law with impunity.

The Development of Kosovo Institutions and the Transition of Authority from UNMIK to Local Self-Government

The paper outlines the institutional development of UNMIK and its evolving models of cooperation with provisional Kosovo bodies of governance. It provides a brief description of UNMIK’s mandate, contained in UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999, and the internal structure the international civilian presence has adopted on the ground. This structure, which, under the overall leadership of the SRSG, divides responsibilities among several international organisations, i.e. the UN itself, UNHCR, the OSCE, and the EU, has become known as the “four pillars”. As this paper mainly focuses on the factual-historical aspects of institution-building in Kosovo under UNMIK’s administration, the aspects of analysis and qualitative evaluation are kept rather on the margins. However, the purpose of the paper is to provide an independent and objective background for analytical observations to be made.

Post-Conflict Recovery: Resource Mobilization and Peacebuilding

Societies embarked on the fragile transition from war to peace face enormous economic, social, and political challenges. In attempting to support this transition, the international community often provides substantial amounts of external assistance. This aid can play an important and constructive role in meeting pressing social needs and building a durable peace, but it would be naïve to assume either that positive effects are the automatic result of good intentions or that donors are motivated entirely by the objective of peacebuilding. This paper reviews evidence on the impact of aid in “post-conflict” settings and offers suggestions for making aid more effective in supporting efforts to build a durable peace. Part I discusses how economic assistance and conditionalities can be realigned to better serve peacebuilding objectives. Part II considers the other side of the coin: how peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding assistance can better support economic recovery, in particular by helping to build state fiscal capacities. Finally, Part III examines the interests and incentive structures that shape the behavior of aid donors, suggesting that their actions can be part of the problem as well as part of the solution.

Public Finance, Aid and Post-Conflict Recovery

In the wake of violent conflict, a key element of building a durable peace is building a state with the ability to collect and manage public resources. To implement peace accords and provide public services, the government must be able to collect revenue, allocate resources, and manage expenditure in a manner that is regarded by its citizens as effective and equitable. This paper addresses eight key issues related to this challenge. The first four pertain to resource mobilization: (i) How should distributional impacts enter into revenue policies? (ii) How can postwar external assistance do more to prime the pump of domestic revenue capacity? (iii) Should macroeconomic strictures prescribed for economic stabilization be relaxed to foster political stabilization? (iv) How should the benefits of external resources be weighed against their costs? The second four issues relate to the expenditure side of public finance: (i) How should the dynamics of conflict be factored into public spending policies? (ii) Can the pathologies of a ‘dual public sector’ – one funded and managed by the government, the other by the aid donors – be surmounted by channeling external resources through the government, with dual-control oversight mechanisms to reduce corruption? (iii) How should long-term fiscal sustainability enter into short-term expenditure decisions? (iv) Lastly, is there scope for more innovative solutions to postwar legacies of external debts?

On Hybrid Political Orders and Emerging States: State Formation in the Context of Fragility

This article examines the rationale and underlying assumptions of this mainstream discourse on fragile states. We argue that the conventional perception of so-called fragile states as an obstacle to the maintenance of peace and development can be far too short-sighted, as is its corollary, the promotion of conventional state-building along the lines of the western OECD state model as the best means of sustainable development and peace within all societies. State fragility discourse and state-building policies are oriented towards the western-style Weberian/Westphalian state. Yet this form of statehood hardly exists in reality beyond the OECD world. Many of the countries in the ‘rest’ of the world are political entities that do not resemble the model western state. In this article it is proposed that these states should not be considered from the perspective of being ‘not yet properly built’ or having ‘already failed again’. Rather than thinking in terms of fragile or failed states, it might be theoretically and practically more fruitful to think in terms of hybrid political orders. This re-conceptualisation opens new options for conflict prevention and development, as well as for a new type of state-building.

Traditional Approaches to Conflict Transformation – Potentials and Limits

The hybrid nature of many contemporary violent conflicts in the Global South has to be taken into account when it comes to conflict prevention, conflict transformation and post-conflict peacebuilding. More attention must be given to non-state traditional actors and methods – and their combination with modern forms of conflict transformation, be they state-based or civil-society-based. In the same way as the analysis of violent conflict has to overcome a state-centric perspective, so have the approaches to the control of violence and the nonviolent conduct of conflict. Up to now, traditional approaches to conflict transformation have not been adequately addressed by scholarly research and political practice. For the most part they are widely ignored, although empirical evidence from relatively successful cases of conflict transformation demonstrate their practical relevance. This paper aims at a critical assessment of both the potentials and limits of traditional approaches to conflict transformation in the context of contemporary violent conflicts in the Global South. It is written in the tradition and context of western thinking about politics in general and conflict transformation in particular. Hence it presents a very specific and narrow perspective on these issues, albeit one that conventionally is taken for granted. Western thinking has become so overwhelmingly predominant in the modern world that it appears as the universal model, whereas other ways of thinking necessarily are merely perceived as ‘the other’ of, or ‘different from’, the western approach. The standard is set by western conceptual frameworks and western ways of communicating the issues at stake, not least in the field of peace and conflict studies.

Does Deployment Matter? Examining the Conditions under which Peacekeeping Missions Effectively Protect Displaced Persons and Refugees

Across African conflicts, peacekeepers have faced persistent difficulties in trying to fulfill their mandate of tempering hostility and protecting civilians in internally displaced person (IDP) and refugee camps. In a series of policy briefs, to be published over the next four months, the Ford Institute will examine the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations in recent and current African conflicts in an attempt to understand the conditions under which their deployment actually serves to enhance the protection of civilian populations. This first brief will examine the significance of three critical aspects of peacekeeping operations: 1. a force’s mandate, 2. the ratio of the displaced population to peacekeeping forces, and 3. the relative density of the force’s coverage in relation to the geographic area of a country. Future policy briefs in this project will examine related issues such as the composition and function of peacekeeping forces, their operational capability, and the deployment timeframe necessary to maximize effectiveness.

The International Relations of the DAHR 1989-96. The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania. An Introduction

This paper is part of a broader research project on the international relations of national minorities in Central and Eastern Europe. It attempts to set the ground for a comparative study of the national minorities‹ transfrontier contacts and policies in this region through presentation of case studies. The present study is an introduction to the external relations of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR, Alliance) with a special focus on: its position in Romania’s political arena, the identification of the relevant actors within the DAHR, and the presentation of the DAHR’s agenda of international relations in general. It should be noted, however, that the detailed examination of the DAHR’s interaction with the identified key external actors is not the proper subject of this paper, although reference to these contacts may be made.

The Role of Development Aid in Conflict Transformation: Facilitating Empowerment Processes and Community Building

This chapter will focus on the practical experience of traditional relief and development projects working on complex emergencies in the field of community development. As the authors explore the nexus between conflict transformation on the one hand and participatory and empowerment approaches on the other, they will critically assess the potential of common empowerment approaches within community building not only to avoid doing harm but also to make a substantive contribution to conflict transformation at the local level. The empirical base of the chapter lies within participatory research and in the experiences of bilateral and multilateral development cooperation in the war-torn areas of Sri Lanka. Sections II and III will explore recent aspects of the conflict transformation discourse, paying particular attention to conclusions that might be drawn concerning the role of development aid in complex emergencies. Sections IV and V introduce some common participatory and empowerment approaches within the field of community development, delineating their theoretical objectives as well as their practical implementation. Section VI critically discusses possible spaces of action, as well as constraints, dilemmas and ambivalences for the facilitation of empowerment processes through development aid within complex emergencies. The authors conclude with future prospects on the potentials, constraints and ambivalence of empowerment approaches and recommend a more political role for development aid in complex emergencies as it engages in more inclusive community building through processes of empowerment and recognition.

Assessing the Environmental Constraints of Repatriation and Reintegration in Post-Conflict Societies: Implications for Policy and a Durable Peace

Postconflict peacebuilding has come to exemplify the process of consolidating peace in war-torn socieities. For the international community, repatriation and reintegration are viewed not only as the most durable solution to addressing refugees but also as critical to postconflict peacebuilding success. This paper uses environmental constraints as an explanatory lens to understand outcomes of refugee repatriation and reintegration. Specifically, it examines two key environmental constraints – access to productive land and natural resources extraction to meet livelihood needs. This paper focuses on the refugee repatriation and reintegration processes in postconflict Mozambique, Guatemala and Rwanda and makes three substantive arguments. First, the underlying norms, assumptions and decisions of national governments and the international community – which emphasizes repatriation and reintegration to one’s home of origin or home community – may actually be counterproductive to short-term protection, sustainable reintegration and long-term stability. Second, although refugees frequently want to return home, their choices are made with the intention of seeking out better livelihoods over time and space. And third, environmental constraints are significant, and can have either positive or negative repercussions for sustained peace in postconflict societies. In the end, this paper is a preliminary assessment that raises questions for further empirical work.

Afghan Women and the Democratic Reconstruction of Afghanistan. Findings and Interviews from a Journalist’s Field Trip

Since the end of the Taliban regime the question has arisen how Afghan women, after years of exclusion from political life, can be helped to get involved in the democratic reconstruction of their country.This report attempts to make suggestions and to point out obstacles to this by dealing with various areas of social life in Afghanistan relevant to women. It is based on a field trip to Afghanistan and the Pakistani border town of Peshawar in February and March 2002 as well as numerous conversations with exiled Afghan women, mainly in Germany. Around 80 Afghan women were interviewed in all.

Restoring Dignity: Current Psychosocial Interventions with Ex-Combatants in South Africa: A Review, Discussion and Policy Dialogue Project.

Countries that have been through transition find themselves faced with the task of (re)building political, economic and social stability. One of the main areas of concern for countries that have experienced some form of conflict on the path towards democracy (like South Africa) is the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants. DDR programmes have been developed and implemented across the continent. According to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone (Harsch, 2005), long-term stability depends on the existence of a comprehensive DDR programme. In reality, however, these programmes tend to fall short of being comprehensive. In countries where aspects of the DDR process were poorly managed, such as South Africa, the effects are still being felt today. According to Everatt & Jennings (2006), the demobilisation process in South Africa was riddled with difficulties. Many ex-combatants were not included and the process was characterised by several administrative problems. They go on to describe the process as “a complete mess” (2006, p.21) and suggest that due to this it is not surprising that many ex-combatants continue to strugglle. The project aims to empower ex-combatants to engage in policy dialogue with key stakeholders on addressing their psychosocial needs. This will be achieved through facilitating their engagement in evaluating and identifying gaps in the psychosocial services available to them.

Conflict Transformation Through State Reform

State reform and conflict are closely interrelated. While state reform can on the one hand be seen as a prerequisite for conflict transformation and sustainable peace, it can also easily become a source of conflict. The potential of state reform itself depends on the proper establishment of structures, values and attitudes that can enable the different groups within the society to handle their conflicts peacefully. State reform must in any case encompass more than just a reorganisation of the administrative system or of the way in which resources are allocated. Rather, it must set the stage for the establishment of participatory and legitimised nation-building processes. By forging democratic development, the participation of the population and rule of law, it will also develop structures that can offer an effective means for the peaceful management of deep-rooted conflicts. As democracy takes root, it will itself have a pacifying effect since it is based on values such as pluralism, tolerance, inclusiveness and compromise, and because it helps to establish norms of behaviour such as negotiation, compromise and cooperation among the political actors. Nevertheless, state reform can also have negative consequences. In situations of externally induced rapid change, it can well become a source of acute conflict, and provoke violent reactions on the part of the ruling regime. Poorly designed state reform can even lead to the deterioration of a conflict. In the case of Angola, for example, the resurgence of war after the peace accord of Bicesse was an unfortunate consequence of the prior establishment of a winner-takes-all system. State reform must therefore be seen as a ‚tightrope walk‘, always seeking a fine line between conflict mitigation and crisis escalation.This chapter will focus on the potential of state reform to prevent, to mitigate and to heal the effects of violent intrastate conflicts. Section II offers an overview of actual challenges in crisis regions, and describes some of the ways in which state reform can deal with these problems. In the following sections, these strategies will be discussed in more detail: section III addresses the possibilities of strengthening participatory processes; section IV deals with institutional reforms; and section V focuses on security sector reform. The article concludes with some open questions which deserve much more attention in the near future (section VI).

Early Warning and the Field: A Cargo Cult Science?

Early warning is a large field with many different methodologies operating on different levels and with a wide range of issues. There are a broad variety of actors involved in these systems from grassroots projects to academics working on computer simulations. Few people would disagree with the concept of early warning: to obtain knowledge and, what is more, to use that knowledge to assist in the mitigation of conflict. In this sense, early warning is an irrefutable necessity. There is a need to actively engage in crisis prevention where the first step is the prognosis of when, why and where conflict will erupt. This is the same process as any troubleshooting: what is the problem and cause, how imminent and what can we do about it? The options that can be taken are necessarily tied to the understanding of the cause. It is, in this sense, that crisis prevention is coupled to early warning. Although related, it is different to ask whether early warning systems are essential or whether they can be successful. They are related to each other because the concepts of early warning behind their importance are in turn the criteria of success. This chapter will critically review whether early warning systems can effectively: (a) identify the causes of conflict, (b) predict the outbreak of conflict, and, what is more, (c) mitigate that conflict.

Harnessing Post-Conflict “Transitions”: A Conceptual Primer

This monograph addresses the topic of ‘transitions’ in complex stability operations and is intended to serve a wide audience that includes military and civilian policymakers, international development experts, and scholars in academe. It is a primer, systematic review and comprehensive assessment of the fields of research and practice on transitions. Transitions are conceived of through four lenses: as a process, authority transfer, phasing, and end state. Considering these perspectives, the authors provide a definition of ‘transition’ in the context of complex stability operations. The intellectual landscape on transitions is immense. From a sample of more than 170 sources, the monograph outlines a typology of six transitional categories while noting their embedded interdependencies: war-to-peace, power, societal, political-democratic, security, and economic. The state of practice reveals a variety of “approaches” and “tools” to address the challenges of post-conflict transitions, although these tend to be narrow and serve parochial interests. The authors conclude with recommendations that include a need for greater research emphasis on the following: testing underlying assumptions of current transition tools and indicators, understanding institutional resilience, identifying thresholds and tipping points between transition phases, and isolating interdependencies between institutions experiencing simultaneous transitions.

Ethnopolitical Legitimacy and Ethnic Conflict Management. The Case of Russian Federation in the early 1990s

The author addresses several aspects of the problem of ethnopolitical legitimacy in its relation to the management of centre-periphery disputes in present-day Russia. The structure of this paper includes four major sections. The first discusses theoretical implications of ethnopolitical legitimacy. The second provides an overview of the dynamics of ethnopolitical conflict and federalization processes in post-Soviet Russia in the early 1990s. The third section reports the data of a sociological survey conducted in four ethnic republics within Russia in 1994-5 and the results reflect cross-republican and ethnically-relevant variations in the perceived level of trust in central vs republican levels of political authority as an important dimension of ethnopolitical legitimacy. The concluding section discusses the linkage between the issues of ethnopolitical legitimation and constructive conflict management in today’s Russia as underlying the agenda of federalism.