Events in the Arab world have inspired hope around the world, but much could still go wrong. Elites, even where weakened, may be able to reinvent themselves.
The concept of peacebuilding is a buzzword ofthe development policy and practice mainstream. The recent introduction of managerial tools and the focus on measuring the ‘effectiveness’ of peacebuilding have marginalised and depoliticised critical questions about the causes of violent conflict, and have replaced them with comforting notions for donors that peace can
be built and measured without challenging Western understanding of economy, governance, and social aspirations of people
The political upheavals in the Arab world during 2011 have irrevocably transformed the Middle East. Yet, as the year draws to a close and the euphoria subsides, it is clear that comparisons of the ‘Arab spring’ to the end of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 were premature. There has been—and there will be—no serial collapse of authoritarian regimes leading to a democratic future. Instead of ‘revolution’, the talk now is of ‘uprising’, ‘revolt’ or even simply ‘crisis’. One reason for the disagreement on how to label the events of 2011 is the inclination to think of the ‘Arab world’ as a unified entity. Arab societies and polities do indeed have tight interconnections and share at least some important characteristics. The potent myth of the Arab nation and the common public space pervaded by the idea of ‘Arabism’ has had complex effects since the beginning of the modern state system in the Middle East. It has been cultivated by powerful media, such as the satellite television channel Al-Jazeera. The contagious nature of the uprisings that started in Tunisia in December 2010 and spread to a number of other Arab states, helped by these media (among other factors), is confirmation that the component parts of the ‘Arab world’ are linked by strong internal bonds. Nevertheless, thinking in terms of ‘Arab’ events—or even an Arab event—may also constitute a set of blinkers. First, by compelling us to search for common trends and characteristics, it prevents us from seeing the profoundly different causes, contexts and outcomes of the developments of 2011—from seeing that each uprising was different, focused on domestic, national issues and comprehensible in its own light. Second, it stops us from placing these developments in other, possibly equally relevant, contexts of crisis and contestation. One such context could be the Mediterranean and more widely European—even global—protests which also unfolded in 2011. Another is the Middle Eastern context, which would locate the Arab uprisings alongside the post-2009 Green movement in Iran. Although the Arab framework is important, other perspectives can also yield invaluable insights.
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.
There is a growing body of practice and literature on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in preventing and responding to violence. There is also a lot of excitement and corresponding literature about the role of the internet in non-violent change and democratization. The use of mobile phones, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and user-generated content (UGC) like blogs and YouTube videos in the protests in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as throughout the wider middle-east and North Africa (MENA) region have shown how ICTs can complement and augment the exercise of rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of peaceful assembly. This literature focuses on the use of ICTs before and during conflict, for example in conflict prevention and early warning. What about the use of ICTs in post-conflict situations; after the negotiation of peace agreements? How can ICTs be used in post-conflict interventions; more specifically in post-conflict peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and recovery? What role of can be played here by social media and user-generated content?
Elections are now common in low-income societies. However, they are frequently flawed. We investigate a Nigerian election marred by violence. We designed and conducted a nationwide field experiment based on anti-violence campaigning. The campaign appealed to collective action through electoral participation, and worked through town meetings, popular theatres and door-to-door distribution of materials. We find that the campaign decreased violence perceptions and increased empowerment to counteract violence. We observe a rise in voter turnout and infer that the intimidation was dissociated from incumbents. These effects are accompanied by a reduction in the intensity of actual violence, as measured by journalists.
Which components of power sharing contribute to the duration of peace and what explains the linkages between institutional design and stability? The authors argue that certain types of political power sharing are associated with more durable peace than others, primarily through their positive effects on governance and public service delivery. In particular, closed-list proportional representation (PR) electoral systems stand out among power-sharing arrangements, due to their ability to deliver superior governance outcomes which, in turn, can promote stability by undercutting the initial motivations for conflict or by reducing the feasibility of rebellion. The authors argue that these positive outcomes result from closed-list PR’s ability to increase party discipline and checks on executive power, while reducing incentives for personalistic voting. The introduction of political institutions in postconflict negotiated settlements allows us to test the independent effects of institutions on governance and stability using survival analysis and a case study.
The “Arab Spring” has proven astonishing and exhilarating to Middle East analysts and activists alike. Starting in Tunisia and spreading quickly to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Syria and beyond, a wave of political protest, unprecedented in scope and ambition, swept the region in 2011. In short order, two deeply entrenched authoritarian rulers were jettisoned from office, and by early summer the leaders of at least three other Arab regimes appeared to be in grave jeopardy. In the wake of this wave, nearly every authoritarian regime in the region scrambled to concoct the “right” mix of repression and cooptation in the hope of stemming the protest. And even authoritarian regimes as distant as China took nervous notice of developments in the region. For Middle East specialists, the events of the Arab Spring proved especially jarring, even if welcomed, because of their extensive investment in analyzing the underpinnings of authoritarian persistence, long the region’s political hallmark. The empirical surprise of 2011 raises a pressing question—do we need to rethink the logic of authoritarianism in the Arab world or, even more broadly, authoritarian persistence writ large?
Community Driven Development (CDD) projects are now a major component of World Bank assistance to many developing countries. While varying greatly in size and form, such projects aim to ensure that communities have substantive control in deciding how project funds should be used. Giving beneficiaries the power to manage project resources is believed by its proponents to lead to more efficient and effective fund use. It is also claimed that project-initiated participatory processes can have wider ‘spillover’ impacts, building local institutions and leadership, enhancing civic capacity, improving social relations and boosting state legitimacy. This paper briefly reviews the World Bank’s experience of using CDD in conflict-affected and post-conflict areas of the East Asia and Pacific region. The region has been at the forefront of developing large-scale CDD programming including high profile ‘flagships’ such as the Kecamatan Development Program (KDP) in Indonesia and the Kapitbisig Laban Sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) project in the Philippines. As of the end of 2007, CDD constituted fifteen percent of the lending portfolio in East Asia compared with ten percent globally. Many of East Asia’s CDD projects have operated consciously or not in areas affected by protracted violent conflict. CDD has also been used as an explicit mechanism for post-conflict recovery in Mindanao in the Philippines and in Timor Leste, and for conflict victim reintegration in Aceh, Indonesia. It then looks at the evidence on whether and how projects have achieved these outcomes, focusing on a range of recent and current projects in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. The analysis summarizes results, draws on comparative evidence from other projects in the region and elsewhere, and seeks to identify factors that explain variation in outcomes and project performance. The paper concludes with a short summary of what we know, what we don’t, and potential future directions for research and programming.
The 2011 World development report looks across disciplines and experiences drawn from around the world to offer some ideas and practical recommendations on how to move beyond conflict and fragility and secure development. The key messages are important for all countries-low, middle, and high income-as well as for regional and global institutions: first, institutional legitimacy is the key to stability. When state institutions do not adequately protect citizens, guard against corruption, or provide access to justice; when markets do not provide job opportunities; or when communities have lost social cohesion-the likelihood of violent conflict increases. Second, investing in citizen security, justice, and jobs is essential to reducing violence. But there are major structural gaps in our collective capabilities to support these areas. Third, confronting this challenge effectively means that institutions need to change. International agencies and partners from other countries must adapt procedures so they can respond with agility and speed, a longer-term perspective, and greater staying power. Fourth, need to adopt a layered approach. Some problems can be addressed at the country level, but others need to be addressed at a regional level, such as developing markets that integrate insecure areas and pooling resources for building capacity Fifth, in adopting these approaches, need to be aware that the global landscape is changing. Regional institutions and middle income countries are playing a larger role. This means should pay more attention to south-south and south-north exchanges, and to the recent transition experiences of middle income countries.
This note describes the Disarmament and Demobilization (D&D) of combatants from all warring parties in January 2002, which marked the official end of the civil war in Sierra Leone. D&D was part of a larger disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program, implemented by the Government of Sierra Leone with the support of the World Bank, together with other international institutions and Nongovernmenal Organizations (NGOs). The experience of Sierra Leone is discussed, as well as, how the Bank can play a role in post-conflict transitions, complementing political and security efforts of client governments and the international community.
The Conflict Analysis Framework (CAF), developed by the CPR Unit, aims to integrate sensitivity to conflict in Bank assistance, and to help Bank teams consider factors affecting both conflict and poverty when formulating development strategies, policies, and programs. Conflict sensitive approaches that take account of problem areas and potential sources of conflict may help to prevent the onset, exacerbation, or resurgence of violent conflict.
A purpose of this book is to present recent World Bank analytical work on the causes of violence and conflict in Colombia, highlighting pilot lending programs oriented to promote peace and development. The Bank’s international experiences in post-conflict situations in different countries and their relevance for Colombia are also examined in this volume. The identification of socio-economic determinants of conflict, violence, and reforms for peace came about as a key element of the Bank’s assistance strategy for Colombia, defined in conjunction with government authorities and representatives of civil society. This report is organized as follows: After the introductory chapter, Chapter 2 provides a conceptual framework for understanding a broad spectrum of political, economic, and social violence issues; identifies the role played by both the country’s history and the unequal access to economic and political power in the outbreak and resilience of political violence; and examines as costs of violence the adverse impact on Colombia’s physical, natural, human, and social capital. Chapter 3 analyzes the costs of achieving peace and its fiscal implications; and indicates that exclusion and inequality rather than poverty as the main determinants of violence and armed conflict. Chapter 4 reviews the Bank’s experience in assisting countries that are experiencing, or have already overcome, domestic armed conflict. The authors illustrate the relevance of these cases for Colombia.
This report develops and discusses a new analytical framework to understand the functions of civil society in peace building. In theory and practice, there is a wide variety of ways to categorize civil society contributions to development and peacebuilding. Donors tend to employ actor-oriented perspectives, focusing on supporting activities of different types of civil society organizations in a given situation. This report proposes to move toward a functional perspective, centered on the roles that different actors can play in conflict situations. The analysis shows that civil society can make numerous positive contributions and have unique potential to support peacebuilding and conflict mitigation. It can do so independently as actor in its own right, or in relation to peacebuilding processes and programs led by Governments or the international community. Despite many successful initiatives on the ground, however, civil society should not be considered a panacea. The existence of civil society per se cannot be equated with the existence of peacebuilding actors. Similarly, civil society strengthening and support does not automatically contribute to peacebuilding. While civil society organizations are frequently actors for peace, they equally have the potential to become actors of violence. So far, outcomes and impacts of different civil society peace interventions have not been sufficiently evaluated. Civil society and donors need to more strategically identify the objectives and demonstrate the relevance of the particular approaches they propose to engage in different phases of conflict/peacebuilding. Without greater clarity regarding objectives and intended impacts, and, without addressing existing institutional constraints and distortions, activities run the risk of being well-intentioned, but unlikely to achieve sustainable results.
The democratic uprisings and consequent turmoil in the Arab world during the last 18 months have had significant impact on the geostrategic situation in the Middle East as well as on the policies of major regional and global powers. As the upheavals continue to unfold, especially in strategically important countries such as Syria and Bahrain, they will continue to have a major impact on intraregional politics as well as great-power interests.
Although modern-day armed conflict is horrific for women, recent conflict and postconflict periods have provided women with new platforms and opportunities to bring about change. The roles of women alter and expand during conflict as they participate in the struggles and take on more economic responsibilities and duties as heads of households. The trauma of the conflict experience also provides an opportunity for women to come together with a common agenda. In some contexts, these changes have led women to become activists, advocating for peace and long-term transformation in their societies. This article explores how women have seized on the opportunities available to them to drive this advocacy forward: including the establishment of an international framework on women, peace, and security that includes United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and other international agreements and commitments to involving women in post-conflict peace-building. The article is based on onthe-ground research and capacity-building activities carried out in the Great Lakes Region of Africa on the integration of international standards on gender equality and women’s rights into post-conflict legal systems.
The US-based Liberian diaspora’s role in the country’s 14-year civil war and its aftermath is paradoxical. Consistent with existing literature on the role of diasporas in conflict, the group largely played a role contributing to the outbreak of the Civil War and its continuation. However, in a paradigmatic shift, the group is currently contributing towards the peace-building process by serving as norm entrepreneurs. Factors that have contributed to this shift include a strong demand in the homeland for a change in the ‘rules of the game’, a shift in US foreign policy towards promotion of democracy in Africa, and a concerted regional and international effort at promoting peace-building norms. The inclusiveness of the mechanisms for norm transfer, the conduct of the messengers and local perception of norms, affect the degree to which they are well received.
This essay offers an explanation for how and why women’s rights are included in contemporary peace agreements. I identify six causal mechanisms by which women secured participation and women’s rights in the peace processes of Burundi (1998–2000) and Northern Ireland (1996–98). First, violent conflict and peace talks produce the conditions of ‘grievance’ and ‘optimism’ necessary for social movement mobilization. Second, women use ‘procedural grafting’ to demand inclusion in peace processes. Third, they use ‘strategic essentialism’ to overcome the ethno-political divisions of the conflict. Fourth, women call upon relevant practices used in peace processes of the Global South. Fifth, high-level actors may influence peace processes to further international objectives. Sixth, women’s involvement with transnational feminist networks facilitates the reproduction of international human rights language.
Judging by the popular press, in January 2011 Twitter and Facebook went from being simply engaging social diversions to become engines of political change that upended decades of Arab authoritarianism. It is tempting to be swept away by this narrative, which suggests that social media prompted hundreds of thousands, and then millions, of Tunisians and Egyptians to pour into the streets and peacefully demand change. Brittle authoritarian regimes had little choice but to comply, and in this way, social media irrevocably changed the future of the Middle East. Following the logic to its conclusion, it would suggest that the Middle East is on the brink of a period of democratic consolidation, as the ideals and tools of revolutionaries lead the region forward into a period of anti-sectarianism, liberalism, and hope.
While political accommodation and the passage of time may heal the wounds in Iraqi society, it is just as likely that the lack of real reconciliation will undermine the political process.
This is a conference report. In May 2000, 25 representatives of Southeast European non-governmental organizations met in Romania to discuss the impact the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe has on the region’s civil society and the potential for cross-border activities. This four-day meeting was organized by the Foundation for Democratic Change (Bucharest), and the Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management (Berlin) and took place in the picturesque mountains of Sinaia (Carpathian Mountains). During several working sessions held in a creative atmosphere the participants developed a list of recommendations concerning the support of civil society in the region.
State-building has been seen as the path to both security and development in East Timor. State-building, however, has been approached as an exercise in the transfer of key liberal institutions, with relatively little attention paid by either relevant international agencies or the East Timorese government to situating these institutions within a social context. In particular, there has been little effort on the part of central institutions to engage with local, community and customary governance. Building a state in which people do not feel at home and where they do not speak the language of governance threatens to marginalise the majority of the population and is not a recipe for nationhood, democracy or security. Nation-building, by contrast, could suggest a renewed emphasis on the vital connection between central government and people, in which legitimacy is embedded and active citizenship is possible. Thus conceived, nation-building requires processes of communication and exchange that effectively include rural people, their values, practices and concerns, as a nation of citizens requires some shared language and institutions of political community.
This supplement is an update of Progress or Peril?, using the methodology developed in that report. The methodology involves blending four different source types: media, public (official), polls, and interviews. The PCR Project was not able to conduct interviews in Iraq for this supplement; the findings in this report are based on 279 data points drawn from media, public sources, and polling, covering the period August-October 2004. We collected 115 media points, 134 points from public and official sources, and 30 polling points, which were weighted equally in our overall graphs. The citations used in this report represent a fraction of the information the Project examined for this analysis. The data suggest the following findings: 1. Iraq has still not passed the tipping point, as defined in Progress or Peril, in any of the five sectors of reconstruction reviewed. 2. Iraq’s reconstruction continues to stagnate; it is not yet moving on a sustained positive trajectory toward the tipping point or end-state in any of those sectors. Within the areas of security, governance and participation, economic opportunity, services, and social well-being, there has been little overall positive or negative movement; there has, however, been some regression or progress within particular indicators reviewed, as described below. The health care sector has seen the most dramatic decline over the past few months.
This edited volume accumulates more than a decade’s worth of lessons learned and best practices on SSR. The book is divided into three parts: The first part on the ‘origins and evolution of the SSR concept’ charts the development of SSR over the past decade and details the variety of approaches to it that have emerged in that period. The second part, “from concept to context: the implementation of SSR’ shifts from analyzing wider trends in the concept’s development to the practical challenges surrounding its application in the field. The third part of the book identifies and breaks down the myriad challenges that confront SSR program, with the issues of local ownership and civil society engagement chief among them. Chapters on gender, human rights, financing, the private sector, coordination and sequencing are also included.
Since 1990, more than 10 milliion people have been killed in the civil wars of failed states, and hundreds of millions more have been deprived of fundamental rights. The threat of terrorism has only heightened the problem posed by failed states. When States Fail is the first book to examine how and why states decay and what, if anything, can be done to prevent them from collapsing. It defines and categorizes strong, weak, failing, and collapsed nation-states according to political, social, and economic criteria. And it offers a comprehensive recipe for their reconstruction. The book comprises fourteen essays on the theory and taxonomy of state failure; nature and correlates of failure; methods of preventing state failure and reconstructing those that do; economic jump-starting; legal refurbishing; elections; demobilizing ex-combatants; civil society building.
Fragile states are the toughest development challenge of our era. But we ignore them at our peril: about one billion people live in fragile states, including a disproportionate number of the world’s extreme poor, and they account for most of today’s wars. These situations require a different framework of building security, legitimacy, governance, and the economy. Only by securing development – bringing security and development together to smooth the transition from conflict to peace and then to embed stability so that development can take hold – can we put down roots deep enough to break the cycle of fragility and violence. Currently, we face critical gaps in our international capabilities to secure development. We need to better integrate military, political, legal, developmental, financial and technical tools with a variety of actors, from states to international organisations, civil society, and the private sector. Beyond assistance, we need new networked relationships between peacekeeping forces and development practitioners, and a new approach to security, to help the people in fragile states shift from being victims to principal agents of recovery.
While the impact of norms on post-conflict statebuilding operations has been well-explored in the literature, the ways in which the same normative frameworks affect the exit practices of such operations has so far remained unaddressed. To fill this gap, this paper examines the impact of the liberal-democratic norms governing statebuilding operations on the timing and process of exit of post-conflict international transitional administrations. To that end, it first examines the concept of exit, arguing that exit is best considered as a process rather than an event. The second section outlines the normative framework that has shaped postconflict statebuilding activities since the end of the cold war, and proposes three ways in which norms can affect exit: first, that norms act as blueprints for statebuilding and can thereby shape benchmarks for exit; second, that norms create “zones of permissibility” that explicitly commit statebuilders to a transitional presence and make exit central to the legitimacy of statebuilding operations; and third, that local actors strategically use norms, in particular those of self-determination and the taboo of permanent control of a territory, to push for an early exit of statebuilding operations. The third section explores both the scope and limitations of the three functions of norms with regard to exit in the context of a brief case study of UNMIK’s exit from Kosovo. The article concludes with some observations about the impact of the findings for exit strategies of international actors from statebuilding operations.
In the first decade of the new millennium, with the adoption at the UN of the ‘responsibility to protect’ as the organizing concept for intervention, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerge as increasingly important partners in international peacekeeping operations. Postmodernist analysts of liberal international security have critically addressed the growing role of international interventionism as well as NGOs. The literature, however, has overstated the effectiveness of liberal biopolitical rationalities in successfully inscribing all political actors, to include NGOs, into their script. Based upon the exploration of discourses of UN reform and integrated peacekeeping, this article argues that, while in the post-Cold-War world international security is reconceptualized in biopolitical terms and calculating rationalities are deployed, the implementation of the biopolitical liberal script is ridden with ambiguities, indecisions and stumbling blocks. International liberal mechanisms for governing disorder produce not only effects of domination and control but also spaces for political appropriation and contestation by NGOs and civil society.
This article critically analyses capacity-building and local ownership in the context of UN peace operations through interviews with UN staff and NGO representatives in Liberia and Burundi. The argument is that these concepts are left ambiguous and undefined to avoid accountability for peace operations while still functioning as value-adding and legitimizing discursive instruments for the latter. This article proves that the many paradoxes and contradictions surrounding the concepts clearly deter their operation in practice, while their positive connotations remain important, discursively, as legitimizing tools.
Romanticised, popular concepts of womanhood and of women’s peace-building capacities need to be critically investigated. A gendered approach is recommended as a corrective to stereotyped perspectives about women and peace, as well as to gender-blind experiments. Such an approach may be found realistic and useful, not only in everyday circumstances, but especially also in war and post-war situations. Particular attention is given to gender in post-war politics, economy and social reconstruction.
The article analyses peacebuilding theories and methods, as applied to justice system reform in post-conflict scenarios. In this respect, the international authorities involved in the reconstruction process may traditionally choose between either a ‘dirigiste’ or a consent-based approach, representing the essential terms of reference of past interventions. However, features common to most reconstruction missions, and relatively poor results, confirm the need for a change in the overall strategy. This requires international donors to focus more on the demand for justice at local levels than on the traditional supply of financial and technical aid for reforms. The article stresses the need for effectively promoting the local ownership of the reform process, without this expression being merely used by international actors as a political umbrella under which to protect themselves from potential failures.
A well-trained, professional police force dedicated to upholding the rule of law and trusted by the population is essential to fighting the insurgency in Afghanistan and creating stability. However, the police programmes in Afghanistan have often been dominated by different national agendas and hampered by too few resources and lack of strategic guidance. These issues pose an enormous challenge for the Afghan government and the international community in rebuilding the police. This article argues that it is imperative that the international effort strike a balance between the short-term needs of fighting an insurgency and the long-term needs of establishing an effective sustainable policing capability when building up the police force; and that the process must not be subject merely to satisfying current security challenges or traditional state-building needs.
Following years of authoritarian rule and economic sanctions, the United States and the international community agreed in the spring of 2003 that efforts should be made to rehabilitate economic infrastructure and introduce representative government to post-war Iraq, among other objectives. To meet these ends, a large-scale assistance program has been undertaken by the United States in Iraq. This program, funded through a mix of appropriations accounts, is undergoing increased scrutiny in the 110th Congress. This report describes recent developments in this assistance effort and key issues of potential interest to Congress.
Internationally-directed nation building combines great rhetorical promise with very mixed practical outcomes. In spite of considerable optimism on the part of international actors, and in spite of often substantial desire for a functioning government among targeted populations, it has not clearly succeeded in building states or nations. The question is why? While many authors look to the weaknesses of international efforts for explanation, the answers may lie instead in the difficult process of transition itself. Although transforming political and social interactions is often necessary in post-conflict contexts, doing so can intensify vulnerabilities and uncertainties that prevent reforming governments from establishing legitimacy. That can in turn enable the fragmentation of political authority and become a sort of worst case scenario for nation building. International actors have shown no ability to counteract fragmentation and in some cases may unwittingly aid its entrenchment. One reason for this is that nation building strategies seldom take account of the hazards of transition, particularly the ways in which international preferences and domestic needs may clash. This article examines nation building within the context of political transition to assess how and when international efforts serve to unite or splinter state authority. It argues that the capacity to improve outcomes rests in better understanding the dynamics of transition, particularly the group vulnerabilities that reform exacerbates. Where nation building cannot counteract fragmentation it cannot succeed, but will serve rather to create contexts where political violence is both easier and more likely.
Since the fall of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan has become an experiment for the international community in installing democracy from outside. Externally led democratization against rushed timetables and based on formal institutions, however, was not rooted enough in the traditional institutions of Afghanistan and was conducted simultaneously with war fighting, while any benefits from reconstruction were not reaching the people. This article argues that, as a result of this lack of ‘buy-in’, the gap between democratic ideals and the lives of ordinary Afghans is widening, thereby undermining popular support, perhaps for a generation. Seeing Afghans primarily as recipients of, and not the driving force for, democracy, coupled with growing dissatisfaction with progress on economic development, may ultimately provoke popular resistance.
The implementation of liberal peace in the context of both transition economies and post-conflict situations often involves policy advice from international financial institutions for rapid opening of the economic and political systems. Experience, however, shows that the immediate outcome is increased poverty and inequality, leading to high social and human costs. Efficiency-based inquiries on externally supported state building and peacebuilding projects often use a problem solving approach which seeks ways to improve performance without questioning the validity of the liberal peace model. Inquiries based on critical theory, however, question the underlying assumptions and the legitimacy of the project itself. Using evidence from Central Asia and Afghanistan, the article argues that legitimacy depends on both how much, in the eyes of local populations, liberal peace actually improves everyday life, and how much it is valued as a goal and adheres to internal norms and values. The main proposition is that values determine how the liberal peace model is understood, while outcomes impact on how the project is accepted. High expectations of protection and welfare during crises also mean that the state can play a key role as legitimizer.
Business, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding examines the actions currently being taken by businesses in areas of violent conflict around the world, and explores how they can make a significant contribution to the resolution of violent conflicts through business-based peacebuilding. This book combines two approaches to provide a comprehensive look at the current state and future of business- based peacebuilding. It marries a detailed study of documented peacebuilding activities with a map of the possibilities for future business-related conflict work and pragmatic suggestions for business leaders, conflict resolution practitioners, and peacebuilding organizations. The use of the label ‘business-based peacebuilding’ is new and signifies actions business can take beyond simple legal compliance or making changes to avoid creating a conflict. Although business-based peacebuilding is new, examples are included from around the world to illustrate that, working together, businesses have a strong contribution to make to the creation of peaceful societies. The book advocates pragmatic peacebuilding, which is not overly concerned with cause-driven models of conflict. Instead, pragmatic peacebuilding encourages an examination of what is needed in the conflict and what can be provided. This approach is free of some of the ideological baggage of traditional peacebuilding and allows for a much wider range of participants in the peacebuilding project.
This paper examines the post-war reconstruction programme in Afghanistan, arguing that it contains the seeds of radical social change. The paper analyses the tensions of the present reconstruction project in light of the past experience of similar programmes launched by Afghan rulers and their foreign supporters. The central argument is that the conflation of post-war reconstruction with a broader agenda for development and modernisation has brought out a wide range of tensions associated with social change. Simultaneously the prominent foreign role in the undertaking has increasingly had negative effects. As a result, the entire project shows signs of severe contradictions that are adding to the problems caused by the growing insurgency.
More and more international donors finance capacity-building by training for conflict transformation. More and more agencies offer courses. More people in conflict situations request training as well, at least in my experience. Capacity-building agencies even commission expert studies on the need for training in conflict transformation. The guiding questions for this article are therefore, “How to make training in conflict transformation more efficient and more effective” and “How to make sure that training for conflict transformation has an impact on conflict transformation”. In the following section of the article, I clarify my own training “philosophy”. The main body of the article is dedicated to distilling conclusions, “lessons learned” if you wish, from my experience as a trainer for conflict management, crisis prevention and stress management, mainly in the context of development cooperation with a strong regional focus on Latin America. I look, in turn, at analysis and strategy development that need to accompany training events, at participants’ characteristics and their effects on training, at trainers’ profiles, at contents and formats, at the process in which trainings need to be embedded, and at possible negative impacts. I end each of the subsections dealing with these issues by presenting a very short list of questions that a trainer (or trainee) should ask him-/herself when faced with decisions about designing (or signing up for) training for conflict transformation.
This article critically examines the discourse surrounding fragile states in relation to the security-development nexus. I draw on the case of Haiti to problematise key assumptions underpinning mainstream approaches to resolving concerns of security and development through the contemporary project of state building. In contrast, I suggest that a focus on the social and political relations constitutive of social struggles provides a framework for a better analysis of the historical trajectory of development in, and of, fragile states. Through an alternative relational interpretation of Haitian social and political formations, I illustrate the way in which Haitian experiences of social change have been co-produced in a world historical context. By foregrounding these relational dynamics at key conjunctures coinciding with periods in which the state, state formation and state building, were perceived to be central to Haitian development, this analysis highlights the extent to which attempts to consolidate the modern (liberal) state, have been implicated in the production and reproduction of insecurities. The article concludes by considering the salience of this relationally conceived interpretation of the security-development nexus for gaining insight into the alternative visions of progress, peace, and prosperity that people struggle for.
The breakdown of order and the collapse of state institutions in fragile and failed states creates situations that may pose direct security threats for foreign actors. Whether and to what degree NATO should lead international efforts to address the dangers posed by failed states, typically far out-of-area, is a major debate for alliance purpose and strategy. While the alliance has focused its energy on aspects of the problem like counterterrorism and piracy, most action on fragile and failed states has been ad hoc, mainly military interventions and post-conflict reconstruction. The problem of dysfunctional states requires a broader rethinking for the international community and especially for NATO as it revaluates strategic goals. To more effectively provide security within the territorial boundaries of its member states the alliance needs to look at security beyond the Euro-Atlantic area. Shaping the political environment means an expanded NATO role in conflict prevention and in avoiding state failure before it occurs. It is argued here that this strategic perspective will not mean more interventions for NATO, but fewer. Moving away from intervening to stress prevention of state failure involves a change of focus: the development of capacities to anticipate problems and rebuild states, and to strengthen institutional capacities in states of strategic importance to the alliance.
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
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.
Following the four-year Bonn Agreement implementation period, from December 2001 to December 2005, the London Conference on Afghanistan was convened, 31 January – 1 February, to reaffirm the commitment of world leaders to the next phase of statebuilding and reform in Afghanistan. The central document of this gathering, the Afghanistan Compact, sets forth a number of time-bound benchmarks for the next five years in the areas of security, governance and development. This article examines key aspects of the compact and what will be required for the government of Afghanistan to meet the various targets, along with the support of the international community. Policy recommendations are further advanced to facilitate reconstruction efforts and to sustain a sufficient level of international engagement to avert failure in Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of civil wars, international actors often worry about the incoherence, tribalism, and division of war-torn nation-states like Afghanistan. However, the problems encountered in the Afghanistan recovery and reconstruction effort illustrate that the divisions, rivalries and fragmentation of authority of the international community have constituted just as big an obstacle to what the UN now calls ‘peace building’. Sustainable stability and peace, to say nothing of democracy, require international actors to delegate some sovereign functions to a multilateral entity that can reinforce rather than undermine the institutions responsible for the reconstruction of the nation-state. The history and contemporary situation in Afghanistan makes clear that there is an important need for the peace-building mechanisms proposed by the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel. This would involve a unified international decision-making body that would act as a counterpart to the recipient national government and potentially bring order to the anarchy that invariably flows from the multiple agendas, doctrines and aid budgets of the array of external actors involved in peace building in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Counterinsurgency strategies employed by the US military in Afghanistan have led to the US military embarking on civil governance reform. This has created new forms of civil–military relations with Afghan and international counterparts. These relations appear less dramatic than ‘conventional’ civil–military relations, in that they do not create the same visible alignment on the ground between military and non-military identities. In addition, the increased merging of civil and military work areas creates a new complexity that stems from semantic confusion. This complexity is mostly about norms and principles, in that the core puzzle is the more general question of what kinds of tasks the military should and should not do, rather than about violent consequences to civilians and questions of neutrality. This article proposes the term ‘third-generation civil–military relations’ to capture and examine the conceptual challenges that stem from the merging of military and civil work areas in Afghanistan’s reconstruction.
In countries emerging from civil war with weak governments, bribery demands will be used opportunistically by officials operating under unclear rules that allow them to invent offences or simply to extort funds from ordinary people. Furthermore, many people may engage in illegal activities, such as smuggling or illicit trade in arms, and may need the protection of public authorities to continue to operate. Peacebuilding strategies must avoid triggering vicious spirals. An economy that is jumpstarted by giving monopoly powers to a few prominent people may produce a society that is both lacking in competition and unequal. Although it may be risky and difficult to counter corruption in post-conflict peacebuilding, if the problem is allowed to fester, it can undermine other efforts to create a stable, well-functioning state with popular legitimacy. Care must be taken in starting down the road to reform. Strong leadership from the top is needed that moves towards the goal of a more legitimate and better functioning government and sidelines those who have in the past been using the state as a tool for private gain through threats and intimidation. International assistance can, in principle, help, but it needs to be tailored to avoid exacerbating the underlying problem created by the mixture of corruption and threats of violence from those inside and outside the government.
The study starts by attempting to draw up a list of the special characteristics of ethnopolitical conflicts. The list is intended to be such as to facilitate strategic reflection about whether it is possible to influence the dynamics of a conflict from outside, and if so, how (Section 2). The next section gives a schematic account of the structures of conflict regulation, embracing not only the realm of states but also the various fields of operation of the realm of societies, and also the necessity of developing initiatives at different social levels. The fourth section proceeds from the assumption that the involvement of third parties is of considerable importance in dealing with acute ethnopolitical conflicts, and this section also contains a systematized account of the functions and strategies that may be adopted by these third parties. Based on this, five process-oriented approaches to conflict regulation are presented. All of these display distinct programmatic and analytic features, though in practice they often figure in various combinations (Section 5).
From a management perspective, this article presents a process model to analyze cooperation between military and civilian actors in peace support operations. By means of multiple case study research, the article applies the model to eight partnerships between the Dutch Provincial Reconstruction Team and civilian actors (nongovernmental organizations, district governors, local constructors) in Baghlan, Afghanistan. These partnerships include explosives removal, power plant construction and police training courses. The article shows that civil-military cooperation processes follow six successive steps: decision to cooperate, partner selection, design, implementation, transfer of tasks and responsibilities, and evaluation. It is concluded that there is a lack of unambiguous and useful military guidelines regarding civil-military cooperation; the military are often unaware of other actors operating in the area and their programs, cooperation is frequently supplybased rather than demand-driven, and many military personnel involved in civil-military cooperation have little experience with and training in the subject.
This article discusses what an IR and peacebuilding praxis derived from the everyday might entail. It examines the insights of a number of literatures which contribute to a discussion of the dynamics of the everyday. The enervation of agency and the repoliticisation of peacebuilding is its objective. It charts how local agency has led to resistance and hybrid forms of peace despite the overwhelming weight of the liberal peace project. In some aspects this may be complementary to the latter and commensurate with the liberal state, but in other aspects the everyday points beyond the liberal peace.
A critical examination of the effort to build a liberal peace since 1999 in East Timor illustrates that to a large degree the liberal peace model has failed the East Timorese people. There are two aspects to this: the first is the failure to construct a social contract between society and its institutions of governance. This is related to the broader issue of the social legitimacy of, and contract with, international actors derived from society and its complex groupings. The second is the failure, at least in the transitional period, to respond to the experiences of everyday life and welfare requirements of the new state’s citizens.
The article examines the nature of the peace that exists in Cambodia by critiquing the ‘liberal peace’ framework. The authors claim that, despite the best efforts of international donors and the NGO community, liberal peacebuilding in Cambodia has so far failed in many of its key aims. The liberal peacebuilding project in Cambodia has been modified by a combination of local political, economic and social dynamics, international failings, and the broader theoretical failings of the liberal peacebuilding process. There have been some important successes, but serious doubts remain as to whether this project has been or can be successful, not least because of the ontological problem of whether the liberal peace is at all transferable. This raises the question of what type of peace has actually been built. The authors argue that the result of international efforts so far is little more than a virtual liberal peace.
The international community accepts that peace, justice and development are indivisible properties of human freedom and thus wants a more coordinated approach to postconflict recovery. Today, transitions to democracy are typically launched through constitutional negotiations and anchored in efforts to fix broken state institutions or create new ones. These are settled strategies for addressing the social and economic causes of conflict in troubled societies. Transitional justice (TJ) has been slow to appreciate or capitalize on the inherent potential of these political processes to further justice and peace. By not taking a wider view of the opportunities for change that are presented by the transitional moment, TJ limits its capacity to construct the institutions that must work if a return to conflict is to be prevented.With this in mind, prominent practitioners have begun to look at how to extend TJ’s brief to include a wider set of issues linked to social justice. They are also looking for concepts and tools to bridge the divide between the field and related disciplines. This article presents South Africa’s transition as a case study of this wider view and is written from the perspective of a practitioner who was involved in building the postapartheid democratic state. It aims to contribute to the current debate about TJ’s stake in postconflict transitions.
Written from the dual perspective of scholar and practitioner Rich qualitative and quantitative data-set Innovative conceptual framework Democratic Peacebuilding examines the evolution of international peacebuilding since the cold war, identifying the factors that limit the progress of international actors to institutionalize democratic authority and the rule of law in war-shattered societies. It gives particular attention to Afghanistan’s Bonn Agreement process (2001-2005) and post-Bonn period (2006-2009), in which the country’s multiple, competing forms of authority (e.g., religious leaders, tribal elders, militia commanders, and technocrats) challenged efforts to create “modern” forms of political authority rooted in democratic norms and the rule of law. Despite the significant risks involved, this volume argues that the institutionalization of democratic legal authority can create the conditions and framework necessary to mediate competing domestic interests and to address the root causes of a conflict peacefully. At the same time, one overlooked problem of international peacebuilding stems from the divergent conceptions, between international officials and the local population, of authority and its sources of legitimacy. By helping a conflict-affected society reconcile the inherent tensions between competing forms of authority, international peacebuilders can contribute to improved conditions for governance and a reduction in intra-state political violence. Due to high expenditures in a period of global economic uncertainty and frustrations in Afghanistan and elsewhere, democratization as an approach to conflict management and resolution is in retreat in some influential policy circles. But it is only a deepening of democracy, rather than lowering the metrics for progress and conditions for exit, that will determine whether fragile states are placed on a viable course toward stability and greater self-sufficiency.
Previous analyses have provided extensive and in-depth insights into the external relations of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan, particularly the division of labour between them and the humanitarian assistance community. This article broadens and deepens this literature by focusing on the internal relations of PRTs, particularly the cooperation between military and civilian sections within them. It shows that the successes and failures of PRTs are not just on the part of individual advisers, officers or uncooperative partners, but can also be located in the organizational culture of a PRT as a whole. On the one hand, a PRT constitutes a forum in which diverging civilian expert, military and national interests may collide, producing a potential for a ‘clash of mindsets’. On the other, such a collision can lead to fruitful results and innovative policies in which different viewpoints complement each other.
Liberal peacebuilding has become the target of considerable criticism. Although much of this criticism is warranted, a number of scholars and commentators have come to the opinion that liberal peacebuilding is either fundamentally destructive, or illegitimate, or both. On close analysis, however, many of these critiques appear to be exaggerated or misdirected. At a time when the future of peacebuilding is uncertain, it is important to distinguish between justified and unjustified criticisms, and to promote a more balanced debate on the meaning, shortcomings and prospects of liberal peacebuilding.
This article argues that mediation and political engagement by third parties can contribute to peacebuilding by strengthening the political processes in countries exiting civil conflict. Third-party engagement can create the political space within which long-term reconstruction, development, and reconciliation issues can be discussed among national actors. Given that peace agreements are frequently mere cease-fires representing short-term deals among elites, mediation and political engagement can assist the transformation of these deals into long-term commitments and inclusive national politics. Specifically, mediation can contribute to peacebuilding in three ways. First, mediators contribute to peacebuilding by working toward peace agreements that serve as frameworks for the opening up of the political process as opposed to agreements that lock in detailed, long-term governance models and concentrate power in the hands of the wartime elites. Second, in the period immediately following the signing of peace agreements, mediation helps parties adhere to the agreements and settle any remaining issues. Third, mediation contributes to making transitional governments workable and, as much as possible, ensures that they gradually lead to more inclusive political processes.
This essay examines the transitional periods following peace agreements and leading to elections and new constitutions. It discusses the advantages of gradually expanding political participation during these periods, despite the arguments of several scholars that political liberalization in the absence of strong state institutions carries significant risks. The article argues that political participation in transitional periods may be expanded through inclusive elite consultations on issues such as elections, vetting of institutions and new constitutions, and through wider national dialogue efforts including civil society. The essay recognizes the risks of premature elections, but argues that the goal of reforming state institutions cannot be achieved in the absence of a national political process. This argument relies on the insights of the constitution-making literature, namely that lasting institutions tend to result from lengthy and inclusive constitution-making processes. It also relies on the civil war settlement literature according to which belligerents need credible guarantees that their interests will be protected in the post-agreement period before laying down their arms. The essay argues that guaranteed inclusion in the transitional process and influence over the outcome of the transition offers such assurances to former belligerents that their interests will be respected in the new political reality.
This article examines the international community’s commitment, since the December 2001 Bonn Agreement, to build democratic institutions and practices at national and local levels in Afghanistan. The tensions between democracy promotion activities and the statebuilding exigencies of political stabilization are identified through an examination of the 2005 elections and creation of the National Assembly, Provincial Councils, and Community Development Councils. The analysis demonstrates the existence of multiple, competing agendas in Afghanistan, embodied in contradictory elements found in those institutions. Policy recommendations are advanced for forging a coherent statebuilding agenda that can garner the legitimacy needed to complete the important transition signalled by the Interim-Afghanistan National Development Strategy and the Afghanistan Compact, concluded in January 2006 in London.
Peacebuilding activities in conflict-prone and post-conflict countries are based upon the assumption that effective, preferably liberal, states form the greatest prospect for a stable international order, and that failing or conflict-prone states represent a threat to international security. Peacebuilding is therefore a part of the security agenda. This has brought obvious benefits, most obviously much-needed resources, aid and capacity-building to conflict-prone countries in the form of international assistance, which has contributed to a decline in intrastate conflicts. However, there are a number of negative implications to the securitization of peacebuilding. This article considers the implications of this, and concludes that it is difficult to mediate between conventional and critical views of peacebuilding since they are premised upon quite different assumptions regarding what peacebuilding is and what it should be.
This article examines education as a security issue in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where some Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats have learned to hate each other and, at times, violently reinforce ethno-cultural differences through separate education systems. It further explores education as a poorly understood conflict-prevention, post-war reconstruction and peacebuilding tool mainly after the 1995 Dayton Accord. It highlights the OSCE as a significant actor in recognizing and responding to education-related security needs. And it reflects on persistent challenges and prospects for a sustainable peace aided by education. Finally the article identifies new research steps to assess reforms.
This paper examines transition patterns in post-Gulf war Iraqi Kurdistan as a function of external aid, and the impact of these developments on relations between the Kurdistan region and Baghdad. It argues that, despite ethnic traditions and structural legacies, the asymmetrical and changing nature of aid has created new incentives for conflict and co-operation. Since 1991 aid has strengthened the Kurdistan region’s power in relation to the state and increased leverage on the central government to accommodate Kurdish demands for autonomy. Yet it has also created an increasingly complex political,?economic order and new interdependencies between the regions. The shift from relief aid to reconstruction within a neoliberal framework has helped open the Iraqi and Kurdish political economies by encouraging trade between the Kurdistan region, regional states and foreign governments. The creation of a federal Iraqi state has also led to financial and political linkages between the Kurdistan region and Baghdad and to new requirements for negotiation.
This article highlights how the instruments for addressing the presumed source(s) of armed violence need to be sharpened and extended to address the heterogeneous character of armed violence present in many post-conflict situations. These extensions require the development of practical armed violence prevention and reduction programmes that draw upon scholarship and practice from the criminal justice and public health sectors. The article argues that reducing organized violence and insecurity in post-conflict contexts requires responding to the wider dynamics of armed violence rather than focusing exclusively on insecurity directly connected to what are traditionally defined as armed conflict and post-conflict dynamics; and this requires attention not just to the instruments of violence, but also to the political and economic motives of agents and institutions implicated in violent exchanges at all levels of social interaction.
Post-Cold War peacebuilding is increasingly conflated with the smooth functioning of a range of processes associated with democracy, governance, development and securitisation. However, critiques of these approaches tend to focus on their liberal-democratic norms and to ignore their underlying processual logics. This article problematises two facets of process with regard to peacebuilding: its postulation as a basis for peace grounded in everyday human activity and its construction of violence as anti-process. Its goal is to present the critique of process as a means for understanding the complex relationship between international and local actors in the context of peacebuilding, thus enriching the liberal peace debate. Drawing on normative political theory, including that of Arendt and Deleuze and Guattari, the article demonstrates how the problems raised by these two issues can help to explain a range of concerns associated with contemporary peacebuilding and provide starting points for imagining forms of peace that are not so reliant upon processual logics or opposed to those acts which disrupt them, which may in fact be attempts to realise radically different versions of peace. In so doing, it extends and enriches the perspectives offered by existing liberal peace critiques.
This article investigates the effectiveness of combatant reintegration through a case study of two security-oriented programmes held in Poso, Indonesia from 2007 to 2008. Each programme aimed to prevent further attacks by addressing perceived economic difficulties experienced by youths whose main skill was perpetrating violence. The effect of such reintegration programmes on potential spoilers has typically been conceptualised in terms of programme influences on former combatants themselves. But in a localised conflict context where many combatants may have held jobs while perpetrating violence, the paper finds that the clearest contribution to sustaining peace of reintegration programming was its effect on police capacity to manage security. Police increased their levels of contact with combatants through reintegration and other informal incentives, then leveraged this contact to gather information after security incidents and to detect potential security disturbances. This pattern of achieving security outcomes through police contact with perpetrators of violence owes its conceptual lineage to the counter-terrorism strategy of the Indonesian police. The case highlights the potential for greater exchange between the fields of combatant reintegration and counter-terrorism disengagement.
Wartime contracts raise challenges to the classic contract doctrines of performance and remedies. First, privatization of numerous military and support functions (even support services such as trucking, laundry and food preparation) has placed private sector contractors in active war zones leading to difficulty in contract performance and injury or death to some contractors. Second, privatization of these functions necessitates that the government employ a functional supervisory system that ensures accountability to the government for contractor actions. How prepared is contract law to resolve disputes raised by these scenarios? This essay explores the role of contract in wartime and, in particular, reconstruction and the shortcomings of trying to use contract law in its current form to achieve the goals contemplated by the architects of the Iraq war. First, it considers the use of government contracts to privatize numerous government functions during the reconstruction and conflict in Iraq. Second, it considers the private ordering by contract done by government contractors to obtain security and related services from third parties. Both types of contracting raise complicated issues, including the proper use of force, to what extent the contracts should have government oversight, to what extent contractors should be accountable for crimes and whether contractors qualify as noncombatants in case of capture. Heavy reliance on contract law to address these problems raises complicated issues of delegation, performance, breach, assumption of risk, excuse and remedies. The general parameters of contracting with the U.S. government shall serve as a precursor to this discussion.
At the outset of the twenty-first century, the rule of law is no longer a concept exclusively, or even primarily, defined and debated by political philosophers and constitutional lawyers, as had been the case in centuries past. Over the last decade in particular, the rule of law has become “the motherhood and apple pie of development economics.” Western democracies, their regional organizations, NGOs, and the multilateral development agencies they control, now pour billions of dollars and euros into projects designed to measure the rule of law, create it where it does not exist – in closed dictatorships, failed states, and post-conflict zones – and to strengthen it in transitional and struggling democracies around the globe. Institutionalists of different hews have come to see it as central to modern statehood, impartial economic exchange, and objective justice. Democracy scholars are pointing to it as the essential, non-electoral dimension of democratic substance. Together with human rights and democracy, the rule of law is now upheld by liberal internationalists as a central pillar in the “virtuous trilogy” upon which a legitimate international order rests, while international security experts have come to see it as indispensable to ending civil wars, building durable peace, and fighting insurgencies, transnational crime, and terrorism. Against this background – of “a venerable part of Western political philosophy” having turned into “a rising imperative of the era of globalization,” as Carothers put it – existing mainstream legal discourses about the rule of law and its promotion abroad run the risk of being outpaced, even sidelined into relative obsolescence. The fact that intellectual and policy involvement with the notion of the rule of law are no longer the exclusive purview of lawyers need not be lamented; indeed, it is to be generally welcomed. Rather, this article argues, to be of genuine relevance to one of the foremost challenges the free world is facing and is likely to face for many decades to come – the challenge of fostering self-sustaining, well-governed free societies in parts of the world where these are absent or weak – lawyers must overcome three main “problems of scope” that presently afflict the rule of law literature and policy enterprise.
The post-Cold War has witnessed enormous levels of western peacekeeping, peacemaking and reconstruction intervention in societies emerging from war. These western-led interventions are often called ‘liberal peacebuilding’ or ‘liberal interventionism’, or statebuilding, and have attracted considerable controversy. In this study, leading proponents and critics of the liberal peace and contemporary post-war reconstruction assess the role of the United States, European Union and other actors in the promotion of the liberal peace, and of peace more generally. Key issues, including transitional justice and the acceptance/rejection of the liberal peace in African states are also considered. The failings of the liberal peace (most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in other locations) have prompted a growing body of critical literature on the motivations, mechanics and consequences of the liberal peace. This volume brings together key protagonists from both sides of the debate to produce a cutting edge, state of the art discussion of one the main trends in contemporary international relations.
Negotiating the right of return is a central issue in post-conflict societies aiming to resolve tensions between human rights issues and security concerns. Peace proposals often fail to carefully balance these tensions or to identify incentives and linkages that enable refugee return. To address this gap, the article puts forward an alternative arrangement in negotiating refugee rights currently being considered in the bilateral negotiations in Cyprus. Previous peace plans for the reunification of the island emphasized primarily Turkish Cypriot security and stipulated a maximum number of Greek Cypriot refugees eligible to return under future Turkish Cypriot administration. The authors’ alternative suggests a minimum threshold of Greek Cypriots refugees plus self-adjustable incentives for the Turkish Cypriot community to accept the rest. The article reviews different options including linking actual numbers of returnees with naturalizations for Turkish settlers or immigrants, Turkey’s EU-accession, and territorial re-adjustments across the federal border. In this proposed formula, the Greek Cypriot side would reserve concessions until refugee return takes place, while the Turkish Cypriot community would be demographically secure under all scenarios by means of re-adjustable naturalization and immigration quotas. Drawing parallels with comparable cases, the article emphasizes the importance of making reciprocity and linkages explicit in post-conflict societies.
This paper looks at how a certain understanding of states is affecting the types of activities emphasised in state-building agendas. It proposes an approach to understanding states and their roles, drawing on ideas of institutions and their rules as a means of mediating power, and applies this to a discussion of two state-building initiatives at the subnational level in Afghanistan. It shows how resistance to attempts to impose bureaucratic rules, coupled with the international community’s failure to understand the role of states in mediating power, has contributed to the failure to date of interventions to reform local government. This has directly affected reconstruction and stability in Afghanistan.
This book critically examines the role of outreach within the application of international justice in post-conflict settings. The assumption that justice brings peace underpins much of the thinking, and indeed action, of international justice, yet little is known about whether this is actually the case. Significant questions surrounding the link between peace and justice remain: do trials deter would-be war criminals; is justice possible for the most heinous crimes; can international justice replace local justice? This book explores these questions in relation to recent developments in international justice that have both informed and shaped the creation of the hybrid tribunal in Sierra Leone. This was the first hybrid tribunal to be based in situ, equipped with a dedicated Outreach office. Outreach was seen as essential to ensuring that expectations were managed for what was ultimately a limited judicial mechanism. Yet, there is little evidence to support the claim that Outreach garnered wide-spread acceptance of the Special Court. This book explores the challenge and tensions in communicating the role of international justice in a post-conflict setting. The goals of international justice after conflict are clear: hold fair and transparent trials of alleged perpetrators under the strict adherence to international judicial procedures in order to establish accountability for the worst crimes against humanity. The assumption being that this will contribute to peace by firmly drawing a line under the past in order to move forward peacefully. This has been evident with the recent drive towards international judicial intervention after conflict in places such as the former Yugoslavia, Uganda and Afghanistan. But so far these assumptions remain largely untested. Few empirical studies examine how justice contributes to peace and within these instances, how the complexity of international justice mechanisms have been communicated to their respective audiences in order to foment wide-spread knowledge and understanding of the processes. This book addresses this deficit by testing these assumptions on the ground in a post-conflict setting in West Africa.
The common refrain that the surge has produced military success that has not been matched by political progress fundamentally misrepresents the nature of Iraq’s political evolution. The increased security achieved over the last two years has been purchased through a number of choices that have worked against achieving meaningful political reconciliation. The reductions in violence in 2007 and 2008 have, in fact, made true political accommodation in Iraq more elusive, contrary to the central theory of the surge. Rather than advancing Iraq’s political transition and facilitating power-sharing deals among Iraq’s factions, the surge has produced an oil revenue-fueled, Shia-dominated national government with close ties to Iran. This national government shows few signs of seeking to compromise and share meaningful power with other frustrated political factions. The surge has set up a political house of cards. But this does not mean that the U.S. military must stay longer to avoid its collapse. Quite the contrary: Without a U.S. military drawdown, Iraq will not be able to achieve the true internal consolidation of power necessary to advance U.S. security interests in the Middle East. Iraq will need to overcome numerous hurdles in its political transition before the end of 2009, including two elections and a long list of unresolved power-sharing questions. Not all of the 10 key challenges outlined in this report are of equal magnitude-failure to resolve some would likely lead to major, systemic crisis, while failure on others would simply be suboptimal. Yet all are interconnected, and none have been resolved by the security improvements of the last 18 months or will be meaningfully addressed simply by postponing U.S. troop withdrawals.
Somalia is, in short, a nightmare for its own citizens and a source of grave concern for the rest of the world. Ironically, however, the international community bears much of the responsibility for creating the monster it now fears. Previous attempts to help Somalia have foundered because they have been driven by the international community’s agenda, rather than by Somali realities. The UN, Western governments, and donors have tried repeatedly to build a strong central governmentthe kind of entity that they are most comfortable dealing within defiance of local sociopolitical dynamics and regional history. Not only have these ill-judged efforts met with inevitable failure, but they have also endangered the traditional social structures that have historically kept order. Instead of repeatedly trying to foist a Western style top-down state structure on Somalia’s deeply decentralized and fluid society, the international community needs to work with the country’s long-standing traditional institutions to build a government from the bottom up. Such an approach might prove to be not only Somalia’s salvation but also a blueprint for rescuing other similarly splintered states.
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.
The need for an accurate understanding of the environment into which peace- and capacity-building missions are deployed cannot be overstated. Suppositions about the mission environment inform every facet of an intervention’s design and implementation, in addition to expectations surrounding success. Yet this critical element continues to be misunderstood by those most in need of an accurate grasp, a condition which severely undermines the war to peace transition. Rather than continuing to assume that recipient states are states in the Western sense of the term, we must instead focus our energies on how best to enable sustainable peace in the hybrid political orders which do in fact constitute these troubled places. After setting out the largely unrecognised characteristics of recipient societies, the article explores alternative forms of assistance with promise to complement such realities.
Peacekeeping has been a significant part of Australia’s overseas military engagement since the end of the Second World War. Yet it is a part of the country’s history that has been largely neglected until the 1990s, and even since then interest has been slow to develop. In the last sixty years, between 30,000 and 40,000 Australian military personnel and police have served in more than 50 peacekeeping missions in at least 27 different conflicts. This insightful, engaging and superbly-edited volume approaches Australian peacekeeping from four angles: its history, its agencies, some personal reflections, and its future. Contributors discuss the distinction between peacekeeping and war-fighting, the importance of peacekeeping in terms of public policy, the problems of multinational command, and the specialist contributions of the military, civilian police, mine-clearers, weapons inspectors and diplomats.
Although the discipline of family law in the western legal tradition transcends the public/private law boundary in many ways, it is the argument of this Essay that family law, in the private law sense of defining the rights and obligations of members of a family, forms an important part of the legal architecture of nation-building in at least three ways. First, access to the resources of the nation-state devolves through biologically and culturally gendered national boundaries, both reflecting and reinforcing the differential status of men and women in the sphere of the family. Second, the social institution of the family and the legal framework that defines it embody power relations that, in turn, help to shape the larger polity. Hence, laws governing marriage, divorce, marital property, maintenance, child custody, child support, cohabitation, inheritance, and illegitimacy define not only power and status within families, but also within civil society, the market, and the political sphere. Third, the symbolic family, and sometimes the law defining it, may figure in important ways in the struggle for national identity that often takes place contemporaneously with nation-building. In Part II of this Essay, we explore the first claim, that national boundaries are gendered through the use of family relationships to control access to citizenship and thus to the resources and the protection of the state. We suggest that the use of kinship ties in an explicitly gendered way in the United States reinforces a concept of ethnic nationalism, casting women, and especially mothers, as the symbolic protectors of national identity. In Part III, we analyze ways in which family structure is defined by and reinforces hierarchy within the larger society. Following an exploration of theoretical arguments concerning the interplay of family and social hierarchy, we offer as an example of this dynamic the historical manipulation of African customary law by colonial powers. Finally, in Part IV, we argue that the ideology of the family often figures in important ways in the development of national identity in post-colonial or post-crisis states. We then discuss the example of South Africa and show how family law can serve as a site for the intersection of nationalist politics and the legal architecture of the nation-building process, here again in ways that are highly gendered.
Studies of peacekeeping have helped to reveal the complexities, dilemmas and challenges of operations since their inception, and almost certainly into the future. Yet, despite the empirical and theoretical breadth of this canon, the field continues to be dominated by political science, development studies, international law and military studies, whose scholars tend to draw on problem-solving, macro-level and positivist perspectives in their writings. The impact of post-structural and post-positivist epistemologies developed in sociology, human geography and cultural studies remain marginal in the field. Given this, the present article seeks to complement and develop the study of peacekeeping through its framing of blue-helmet activity as embodied, spatial-security practice that is performed ‘out front’ for the beneficiary audience. In so doing we draw on critical geopolitics, military/human geography and sociological theorizing with a focus on space and performance. Our main aim is to show how the concepts of space and performance can be used to illuminate perceptions of everyday security by recourse to a modest, illustrative empirical component based on fieldwork in Haiti, Kosovo and Liberia.
Post-Soviet, post-conflict Tajikistan is an under-studied and poorly understood case in conflict studies literature. Since 2000, this Central Asian state has seen major political violence end, countrywide order emerge and the peace agreement between the parties of the 1990s civil war hold. Superficially, Tajikistan appears to be a case of successful international intervention for liberal peacebuilding, yet the Tajik peace is characterised by authoritarian governance. Via discourse analysis and extensive fieldwork, including participant-observation with international organizations, the author examines how peacebuilding is understood and practised. The book challenges received wisdom that peacebuilding is a process of democratisation or institutionalisation, showing how interventions have inadvertently served to facilitate an increasingly authoritarian peace and fostered popular accommodation and avoidance strategies. Chapters investigate assistance to political parties and elections, the security sector and community development, and illustrate how transformative aims are thwarted whilst ‘success’ is simulated for an audience of international donors. At the same time the book charts the emergence of a legitimate order with properties of authority, sovereignty and livelihoods.
Peacebuilding is a contested concept which gains meaning as it is practised. While academic and policy-relevant elaboration of the concept is of interest to international experts, interpretations of peacebuilding in the Central Asian arena may depart immensely from those envisaged within the western-dominated ‘international community’. This article opens up the dimensions and contingent possibilities of “peacebuilding” through an investigation of two alternative approaches found in the context of Tajikistan. It makes the critique that peacebuilding represents one contextually grounded basic discourse. In the case of Central Asia, and in particular post-conflict Tajikistan, at least two other basic discourses have been adopted by parties to the post-Soviet setting: elite “mirostroitelstvo” (Russian: peacebuilding) and popular ‘tinji’ (Tajik: wellness/peacefulness). Based largely on fieldwork conducted in Tajikistan between 2003 and 2005, the argument here is that none of these three discourses is merely an artificial or cynical construct but that each has a certain symbolic and normative value. Consequently, a singular definition of Tajik ‘peacebuilding’ proves elusive as practices adapt to the relationships between multiple discourses and identities in context. The article concludes that ‘peacebuilding’ is a complex and intersubjective process of change entailing the legitimation of new relationships of power.
The role of UN peacekeeping missions has expanded beyond the traditional tasks of peacekeeping to include a wide range of political, economic, and humanitarian activities. While such expansion indicates an improved understanding of the complexities and challenges of post-conflict contexts, it also raises questions about whether UN peacekeeping missions are equipped to handle peacebuilding tasks. Evidence from a study of the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone suggests they are not. This article argues that peacekeeping missions are a poor choice for peacebuilding given their limited mandates, capacity, leverage, resources and duration. Peacekeepers should focus on peacekeeping, by which they can lay the foundation for peacebuilding. Peacebuilding should be the primary task of national governments and their populations.
Issues surrounding legitimacy and the role of civil society are at the forefront of contemporary global governance debates. Examining the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and focusing on the specific issue areas of justice and gender, this article evaluates the effectiveness and accountability of the administration from the perspective of East Timorese civil society, whose voice is largely absent from previous analyses. Drawing on the archive of the prominent civil society group La’o Hamutuk, this study adds precision and nuance to an area of research characterized by broad-stroke assessments of the legitimacy of multinational interventions. It finds variations in the levels of overall legitimacy exhibited by particular issue areas and differences in terms of the configuration of accountability and effectiveness enjoyed by UNTAET. Although sounding a cautionary note about the degree of civil society influence in global governance, the study concludes that La’o Hamutuk nevertheless provided a more diffuse sense of discursive voice and accountability than would otherwise have been accorded the East Timorese during this crucial period in their history.
Mozambique, an aid darling, poses some stark questions for development co-operation. Current economic management strategies mean that a growing group of young people are leaving school with a basic education but no economic prospects. Will marginal youth in towns and cities pose a threat of political and criminal violence? Can peace be built on poverty and rising inequality? Are elections and expanded schooling enough when there are no jobs?
Prior to the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats shared neighbourhoods and friendships. The war, through its objective and effect, divided these communities and groups. Postconflict, the physical return of displaced persons and refugees was, and remains, insufficient to renew coexistence. Moreover, the weak economy aggravates divisions, further impeding sustainable return and reconciliation. Recognising these difficulties, UNHCR launched ‘Imagine Coexistence,’ a series of activities designed to rebuild trust among ethnic groups in areas of return. Many of the activities involved an income-generating component. The article reviews this and other similar initiatives that aim to promote livelihoods, community development, return and coexistence concurrently. It finds that while such inventive projects receive limited attention and funding, they have achieved successes in repairing social relationships, addressing poverty and strengthening communities in Bosnia. Consequently, they should be given greater prominence in Bosnia and more generally in the design of transitional justice and peace building interventions.
Scholars and policymakers have turned increasing attention to questions of transitional justice, those legal responses to a former regime’s repressive acts following a change in political systems. Although there is a rich, interdisciplinary literature that addresses the value of various transitional justice measures, theoretical arguments for how and under what conditions we should expect to see these measures implemented tend to gravitate to intuitively appealing relative power considerations. But attempts at parsimony have tended to leave the dependent variable either overly restrictive or poorly defined, yielding theories that are difficult to test. In this article, the author proposes a “transitional justice spectrum” based on a hierarchical series of possible accountability mechanisms and designed to allow researchers to conduct more rigorous, cross-national tests of justice arguments. The objective here is not to posit a broad theory of transitional justice, but to open the debate into a methodological weakness in the transitional justice literature. The article includes seven accountability mechanisms: cessation and codification of human rights violations; condemnation of the old system; rehabilitation and compensation for victims; creation of a truth commission; purging human rights abusers from public function; criminal prosecution of executors (those lower on the chain-of-command); criminal prosecution of commanders (those higher on the chain-of-command).
This article examines the military aspects of international state-building efforts in Afghanistan through the lens of critical theory. It outlines the conventional approach to state-building, as it has evolved in recent decades, and briefly describes the emerging reflexive critique of that approach developed by state-building scholars grounded in critical theory. It then applies the reflexive critique to the Afghan state-building project, an exercise that substantiates key aspects of the critique but also reveals a divergence between the broadly conventional approach taken in Kabul and the more adaptive approaches of many practitioners at the province and district levels. It concludes with a discussion of the potential implications of this convergence for theory and practice of state-building in Afghanistan and beyond.
The international community is eagerly promoting the concept of the rule of law in post-conflict states such as Timor-Leste in the belief that it will lead to political and social stability. To attract international legitimacy, Timorese leaders are also keen to be seen to be invoking the rule of law although the manner in which they understand and use the concept often diverges from dominant Western understandings. The concept of the rule of law assumes that the state enjoys a monopoly of law. This article examines the resonance of the rule of law at the local level in Timor-Leste in light of the fact that customary law is the type of law with which people are likely to have first and frequent contact as the state has little reach beyond the capital. It concludes by recommending that all actors promoting the rule of law in post-conflict states need to equip themselves with a strong understanding of how the population engages with legal norms in order to effectively promote the rule of law.
In modern industrial societies, the demand for policing services frequently exceeds the current and foreseeable availability of public policing resources. Conversely, developing nations often suffer from an inability to provide a basic level of security for their citizens. Community Policing and Peacekeeping offers a fresh overview of the challenges of community policing in advanced societies and peacekeeping in weak nations, demonstrating how going beyond traditional models of police work can provide solutions in troubled communities. Featuring contributions from world-class scholars, this volume emphasizes the importance of cultural and political sensitivities in police work. Offering comparative perspectives from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, South Africa, and China, it explores the paradigm of community policing that involves consultation with community members, responsiveness to their security needs, collective problem-solving to identify the most appropriate means of meeting these needs, and mobilization of police services. Exploring the challenges and pitfalls of these collaborative efforts, the book examines how traditional models of police work have evolved to embrace the needs of communities. The second part of the book focuses on police peacekeeping efforts in countries torn apart by civil strife. It includes chapters on police collaboration with the United Nations, Australian and Canadian efforts abroad, CIVPOL (civilian police peace operations), and programs in Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. The book shows how expanding the role of the police beyond the limits of fighting crime can help contribute to safer, more stable communities.
This article focuses on the role of international aid donors in Afghanistan since the signing of the Bonn Agreement in 2001. Specifically, it explores the scope and utility of peace conditionalities as an instrument for peace consolidation in the context of a fragile war-to-peace transition. Geo-strategic and institutional concerns have generally led to an unconditional approach to assistance by international actors. It is argued that large inflows of unconditional aid risk re-creating the structural conditions that led to the outbreak of conflict. Aid conditionalities need to be re-conceptualized as aid-for-peace bargains rather than as bribes for security. Some forms of conditionality are necessary in order to rebuild the social contract in Afghanistan. This finding has wider relevance for aid donors and they should reconsider orthodox development models in â€˜fragile stateâ€™ settings. Rather than seeing conditionalities and ownership as two ends of a policy spectrum, the former may be a necessary instrument for achieving the latter.
The past two decades have witnessed the proliferation of comprehensive international missions of peacebuilding and reconstruction, aimed not simply at bringing conflict to an end but also at preventing its recurrence. Recent missions, ranging from relatively modest involvement to highly complex international administrations, have generated a debate about the rights and duties of international actors to reconstruct postconflict states. In view of the recent growth of such missions, and the serious challenges and crises that have plagued them, we seek in this article to address some of the gaps in the current literature and engage in a critical analysis of the moral purposes and dilemmas of reconstruction. More specifically, we construct a map for understanding and evaluating the different ethical imperatives advanced by those who attempt to rebuild war-torn societies. In our view, such a mapping exercise is a necessary step in any attempt to build a normative defence of postconflict reconstruction. The article proceeds in two stages: first, we present the various rationales for reconstruction offered by international actors, and systematize these into four different “logics”; second, we evaluate the implications and normative dilemmas generated by each logic.
The international community has struggled without much success to remedy the problem of failed states. Meanwhile, 40 or 50 countries around the world — from Sudan and Somalia to Kosovo and East Timor — remain in a crisis of governance. In this impressive book, Ghani, a former Afghan finance minister, and Lockhart, who has worked at the World Bank and the United Nations, assess the missteps and offer a new framework for coordinated action. They argue that international responses have failed because they have been piecemeal and have proceeded with little understanding of what states need to do in the modern world system to connect citizens to global flows. They advocate a “citizen-based approach.” State-building strategies would be organized around a “double compact”: between country leaders and the international community, on the one hand, and country leaders and citizens, on the other. The book also proposes methods for the generation of comparative data on state capacity — a “sovereignty index” — to be annually reported to the UN and the World Bank. Ultimately, this study offers a surprisingly optimistic vision. The fact that so many disadvantaged countries have made dramatic economic and political transitions over the last decade suggests that developmental pathways do exist — if only the lessons and practical knowledge of local circumstances can be matched to coordinated and sustained international efforts. The authors provide a practical framework for achieving these ends, supporting their case with first-hand examples of struggling territories such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo and Nepal as well as the world’s success stories–Singapore, Ireland, and even the American South.
This article argues that Africa’s development rests not on aid, but on three key pillars: knowledge, entrepreneurship, and governance. Africa needs to think outside of the box when establishing these pillars. However, to make these three levers work, a change in mindset is a prerequisite. Africa has to start dreaming big dreams that empower it to see long-term. Africa must restructure societies so that networks beyond closed ethnic networks are more prominent. The larger social capital that will result will build a foundation for development. Africa also needs to incorporate new actors in its development agenda, including faith-based organizations, the diaspora, and the business class; and it must encourage immigrant entrepreneurs, especially Asians, to come in as chase rabbits. Better governance will come from the transformation of people from subjects to citizens. For success in international trade, Africa needs to learn the lessons of the Savannah, where the effective pack is the king.
Fukuyama brings together esteemed academics, political analysts, and practitioners to reflect on the U.S. experience with nation-building, from its historical underpinnings to its modern-day consequences. The United States has sought on repeated occasions to reconstruct states damaged by conflict, from Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War to Japan and Germany after World War II, to the ongoing rebuilding of Iraq. Despite this rich experience, there has been remarkably little systematic effort to learn lessons on how outside powers can assist in the building of strong and self-sufficient states in post-conflict situations. The contributors dissect mistakes, false starts, and lessons learned from the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq within the broader context of reconstruction efforts in other parts of the world, including Latin America, Japan, and the Balkans. Examining the contrasting models in Afghanistan and Iraq, they highlight the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as a cautionary example of inadequate planning.
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.
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.
This report analyzes the political dimensions of Iraqi displacement, beginning with a short description of the present situation and its historical background. It then analyzes the implications of the large-scale internal displacement on the security of both Iraq and its two neighbors who host the largest number of Iraqi refugees. A discussion of U.S. policy, European concerns, and the response of the United Nations is followed by analysis of returns of the displaced, with particular attention to the burning issue of property compensation. The study concludes with recommendations to the U.S. government and to the broader international community.
This article explores community-based restorative justice projects run by political exprisoners and former combatants in Northern Ireland, initiatives which are dealing with everyday crime and conflict in local communities in a period of transition. It is argued that restorative justice can act as a facilitator, both for individuals within the community and between communities and the state, when violence-supporting norms are expected to be replaced by nonviolent approaches to conflict and its resolution. The article also argues for a greater role for criminological approaches to crime, punishment and justice within transitions, recognising the strengths of criminology to address underlying causes of continued violence in postconflict settings. In particular, this article investigates attempts by these initiatives to build bridges between historically estranged communities and the police, and argues for the possibility of restorative justice becoming a catalyst for transformative justice during times of rapid social change.
This article discusses the attempts at state-building by international actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It uses this experience to discuss some of the obstacles and dilemmas facing external state-builders. I argue that attempts at state-building by foreign actors in the DRC have not had much success, and point out four reasons. First, insufficient resources have been provided. Second, donors have used a standardized approach that does not take local context sufficiently into account. Third, domestic power relations have been such that state-building has not served the interests of key actors. Finally, the policy has been based on a fixed, non-negotiable conception of what the state eventually should look like. Although all these factors have contributed to the failure to create a liberal state in the DRC, the last two appear to be more fundamental than the first and the second.
Postconflict state reconstruction has become a priority of donors in Africa. Yet, externally sponsored reconstruction efforts have met with limited achievements in the region. This is partly due to three flawed assumptions on which reconstruction efforts are predicated. The first is that Western state institutions can be transferred to Africa. The poor record of past external efforts to construct and reshape African political and economic institutions casts doubts on the overly ambitious objectives of failed state reconstruction. The second flawed assumption is the mistaken belief in a shared understanding by donors and African leaders of failure and reconstruction. Donors typically misread the nature of African politics. For local elites, reconstruction is the continuation of war and competition for resources by new means. Thus their strategies are often inimical to the building of strong public institutions. The third flawed assumption is that donors are capable of rebuilding African states. Their ambitious goals are inconsistent with their financial, military, and symbolic means. Yet, African societies are capable of recovery, as Somaliland and Uganda illustrate. Encouraging indigenous state formation efforts and constructive bargaining between social forces and governments might prove a more fruitful approach for donors to the problem of Africa’s failed states.
While transitional justice scholarship has begun to recognize that engaging with the economic forces driving particular conflicts is a crucial part of dealing with the legacy of those conflicts, the international community has been slow to implement mechanisms to address those forces in any meaningful way in postconflict societies. One notable exception, however, has been the section of the internationalized state court in Bosnia and Herzegovina dedicated to prosecuting the most serious cases of organized crime, economic crime and corruption. Although generally overlooked by the transitional justice community, the model it established for a hybrid tribunal targeting systemic economic crimes is ideal for tackling many of the forces that contribute to continued instability in Bosnia and other post-conflict societies. Through the framework of recent scholarship on the political economy of conflict, this Note first identifies several economic structures that have promoted and facilitated conflict in Bosnia, including pervasive corruption and an extensive shadow economy tied to organized crime. The Note then explains how the internationalized court was designed to effectively target those phenomena in the post-combat economy. Finally, the Note argues that international involvement in prosecuting economic crimes can be justified under international law where narrowly tailored to address the systemic crimes underpinning conflict.
This report seeks to address the question “what happens to protagonists for change once that change has been achieved?” by analysing the transformations of peace/human rights civil society organisations (CSOs) during peace processes and democratic transitions in South Africa and Guatemala. Section one clarifies the analytical ground by exploring the conceptual roots, definitional boundaries, organisational and functional characteristics, and normative understanding of CSOs, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Section two adopts a more dynamic approach, assessing the organisational and functional shifts undergone by CSOs during and in the aftermath of peace processes and democratic transitions. This literature survey is then followed, in sections three and four, by two empirical studies on CSOs in South Africa and Guatemala, where interviews were collected in April 2007 with current and former members of relevant organisations. The conclusion, finally, draws a brief comparative summary of the main findings in both case studies, and derives a few conceptual and practical implications for the research, CSO and international donor communities.
Using Afghanistan as a pivot, this book illustrates how emerging international “ordering” practices affect the role and policy of international actors such as United Nations agencies and international NGOs, their interaction with national authorities and local communities, and their ability to generate just and social outcomes.
Local perceptions of aid in crisis contexts is an under-researched area. This article, which is based on extensive interviewing of affected individuals and communities in Afghanistan, sets out key issues affecting the provision of international assistance and in particular analyses the ‘perceptions gap’ between outsiders and local communities and its implications for the aid community. Humanitarian action is seen by local people as part of a ‘northern enterprise.’ Even if the universalist values of the enterprise do not clash with local views of the world, the baggage, modus operandi, technique and personal behaviour of aid workers often do. Suggestions on how this gap could be addressed are also put forward.
This article compares Britain’s failed attempt at building a stable, liberal state in Iraq from 1914 to 1932 with the USA’s struggle to stabilise the country after regime change in April 2003. It sets out a template for endogenous state-building based on the evolution of the European state system. It then compares this to exogenous extra-European state-building after both World War I and the Cold War. It focuses on three key stages: the imposition of order, the move from coercive to administrative capacity and finally the evolution of a collective civic identity linked to the state. It is this process against which Iraqi state-building by the British in the 1920s and by the USA from 2003 onwards can be accurately judged to have failed. For both the British and American occupations, troop numbers were one of the central problems undermining the stability of Iraq. British colonial officials never had the resources to transform the despotic power deployed by the state into sustainable infrastructural capacity. Instead they relied on hakumat al tayarra (government by aircraft). The dependence upon air power led to the neglect of other state institutions, stunting the growth of infrastructural power and hence state legitimacy. The US occupation has never managed to impose despotic power, having failed to obtain a monopoly over the collective deployment of violence. Instead it has relied on ‘indigenisation,’ the hurried creation of a new Iraqi army. The result has been the security vacuum that dominates the south and centre of the country. The article concludes by suggesting that unsuccessful military occupations usually end after a change of government in the intervening country. This was the case for the British in May 1929 and may well be the case for the USA after the next presidential election in 2008.
This article describes the slow and uneven movement towards a more professional approach to nation-building. The post-cold war era is replete with instances where the United States found itself burdened by the challenges of nation-building in the wake of a successful military operation. American performance in the conduct of such missions improved slowly through the 1990s, but this trend was not sustained into the decade beginning in 2000. The article outlines what a more professional approach to peacebuilding would require, highlighting a hierarchy of tasks that flow in the following order: security, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, democratization and development.
Preparation for nation-building requires that responsible political leaders consult both with regional and functional experts, those who know why the society in question descended into conflict and those who know from experience elsewhere how to put such societies back together. Goals must be established which transcend the most immediate and normally negative purposes of the inter vention, e.g. halting conflict, stopping genocide or turning back aggression. These positive goals must be commensurate with the scale of military manpower and economic assistance likely to be committed. The larger the social transformation envisaged, the greater the resistance likely to be encountered. The most common cause for the failure of nation-building endeavours is a mismatch between objectives and commitments.
Wartime sexual violence continues to be widespread and systematic in contemporary conflicts. Although the problem is gaining increasing international attention, it has remained, for the most part, peripheral within the domain of security studies. However, the human security agenda may have the capacity to raise the profile of wartime sexual violence and offer a useful framework from which to understand and respond to the unique needs of war-affected girls and women. This article explores the capacity of the human security agenda, both conceptually and practically, to address the plight of girl victims of sexual violence in the aftermath of Sierra Leone’s conflict. Drawing upon the perspectives and experiences of three girls formerly associated with Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front, the article traces the extreme forms of sexual violence and insecurity girls were forced to endure, both during and following the conflict. It also examines a number of human security efforts implemented in the conflict’s aftermath and their impact on the level of empowerment, protection and security of girls. The broader implications of these human security efforts are explored in light of the girls’ lived realities in post-conflict Sierra Leone.
This book seeks to examine the causes of escalation and de-escalation in intrastate conflicts. Specifically, the volume seeks to map the processes and dynamics that lead groups challenging existing power structures to engage in violent struggle; the processes and dynamics that contribute to the de-escalation of violent struggle and the participation of challengers in peaceful political activities; and the processes and dynamics that sustain and nurture this transformation. By integrating the latest ideas with richly presented case studies, this volume fills a gap in our understanding of the forces that lead to moderation and constructive engagement in the context of violent, intrastate conflicts.
This article examines the role of development co-operation in the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone. British military intervention, sanctions against Liberia for supporting the rebellion and the deployment of UN peacekeepers were key, albeit belated, initiatives that helped resolve the conflict. The lessons are that, first, domestic forces alone may be incapable of resolving large-scale violent conflicts in Africa. Second, conflict tends to spread from one country to another, calling for strong regional conflict resolution mechanisms and deeper regional integration to promote peace. Third, donor policies need to address the root causes of state fragility, especially the political and security dimensions, which they tend to ignore. Fourth, a critical analysis is required to determine circumstances in which elections could undermine peace: the conduct of donor-supported elections under an unpopular military government in Sierra Leone culminated in an escalation of the conflict. Finally, a united international community is crucial to resolve a complex conflict and it should be accompanied by strong and timely measures informed by a full understanding of local conditions.
Efforts to bring peace and reconstruction to the Central African region have been fashioned by contemporary conflict resolution models that have a standard formula of peace negotiations, with a trajectory of ceasefire agreements, transitional governments, demilitarization, constitutional reform and ending with democratic elections. Local dynamics and the historical and multifaceted nature of the conflicts are rarely addressed. Furthermore, participants in the peace process are restricted to representatives of political parties, the state and rebel movements, to the exclusion of civil society. Using as examples the conflicts and peace processes in three Great Lakes countries-Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo-the paper contends that contemporary global frameworks for peacemaking and peace building that rest on the acceptance of neoliberal political and economic models cannot lay the foundations for the conditions necessary for sustainable peace. This necessitates the utilisation of a more inclusive concept of peace, the starting point of which has to be the emancipation of African humanity.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is currently involved in peacebuilding operations in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands; Australian government agencies remain engaged in reconstruction in post-conflict Bougainville (Papua New Guinea). Peacebuilding has been and will remain a major task for the ADF in the Pacific, as part of a larger governmental and aid response. The wider context for these commitments is the view that state incapacity or even failure is in prospect in parts of Australia’s immediate Pacific region. The causes of state failure include lack of a diversified economy, a dependence on exports of natural resources, a rapidly growing population, and poor education levels; a number of Pacific countries exhibit these characteristics. The conflict on Bougainville has been the most intractable in which Australian forces have been involved. The formation of Peace Monitoring Groups (largely composed of ADF personnel, but unarmed) engaged in weapons destruction, building trust and encouraging the eventual realisation of local autonomy was a major contribution to the peace process. The ADF experience of Timor-Leste dates from INTERFET. The need to redeploy peacekeeping troops in 2006 demonstrated that the existing peacebuilding program focused especially on security sector reform, while positive was still too narrow to address governance incapacity problems. From 2003 ADF elements have been central to the RAMSI reconstruction program in Solomon Islands. Though violence has largely been eradicated, the political crisis of 2006 demonstrated the need for the closest cooperation with the host government. These regional case studies show that peacebuilding is a complex task which requires engagement across all of the institutions of order and governance as well as with the wider society. Security sector reform remains a crucial area of peacebuilding in which military forces are inextricably involved. However, effective security reform depends ultimately upon the existence of governments that welcome, support, and own such reform.
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.
Peace operations are increasingly on the front line in the international community’s fight against organized crime. In venues as diverse as Afghanistan, the Balkans, Haiti, Iraq and West Africa, multiple international interventions have struggled with a variety of protection rackets, corruption and trafficking in a wide range of licit and illicit commodities: guns, drugs, oil, cars, diamonds, timber – and human beings. This introduction to the Special Issue on peace operations and organized crime discusses the concept of ‘organized crime’ as a label, and suggests ways of differentiating organized crime groups on the basis of their social governance roles, resources and strategies towards authority structures – such as peace operations.
Notwithstanding the recent proliferation of war crimes tribunals, a fundamental question remains: whether the confidence that such institutions have generated among their supporters is, in fact, justified. Using the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as a case study, this article empirically explores four reputed merits of criminal trials — that they dissipate calls for revenge, individualize guilt, establish a historical record and contribute to reconciliation. It demonstrates that each of these claims, with the possible exception of the first, is problematic, which, in turn, highlights the limits of retributive justice. Hence, the article advocates the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Bosnia to complement the ICTY’s work. It also maintains that our expectations of war crimes tribunals need to be more realistic, in view of the obstacles and challenges that they face, and that their mandates should be more specifically tailored to the particular circumstances in which they are operating.
This article, which is grounded in qualitative interview data, takes as its starting point the contention that war crimes tribunals can aid reconciliation, and more specifically the claim made by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that its work is contributing to reconciliation in the region. Focusing on Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH), the first question that it seeks to answer is not whether the ICTY has positively impacted on reconciliation, but rather the more immediate question of whether reconciliation actually exists in BiH. Defining reconciliation as the restoration and repair of relationships and as the acknowledgement of war crimes and responsibility, it argues that there is no reconciliation in present-day BiH. There is only negative peace an absence of conflict. The second crucial question that this article explores, therefore, is whether and how this negative peace can be developed into positive peace characterized by reconciliation. Emphasizing two critical obstacles to any reconciliation process in BiH, namely insufficient contact between interethnic groups and the existence of denial and competing truths, it identifies three important measures to address these. These are the abolition of the divisive ‘two schools under one roof’ education system, the replacement of the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) with a constitutional structure that encourages interethnic contact rather than separation, and the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). On the issue of whether the ICTY can itself contribute to reconciliation in BiH, the article concludes that while retributive justice is an important mechanism in postconflict societies, the difficulties and challenges that the ICTY faces in BiH underscore the limitations of criminal trials and the imperative of a multifaceted approach to reconciliation combining different transitional justice elements.
Post-Conflict Peacebuilding comes at a critical time for post-conflict peacebuilding. Its rapid move towards the top of the international political agenda has been accompanied by added scrutiny, as the international community seeks to meet the multi-dimensional challenges of building a just and sustainable peace in societies ravaged by war. Beyond the strictly operational dimension, there is considerable ambiguity in the concepts and terminology used to discuss post-conflict peacebuilding. This ambiguity undermines efforts to agree on common understandings of how peace can be most effectively ‘built’, thereby impeding swift, coherent action. Accordingly, this lexicon aims to clarify and illuminate the multiple facets of post-conflict peacebuilding, by presenting its major themes and trends from an analytical perspective. To this end, the book opens with a general introduction on the concept of post-conflict peacebuilding, followed by twenty-six essays on its key elements (including capacity-building, conflict transformation, reconciliation, recovery, rule of law, security sector reform, and transitional justice). Written by international experts from a range of disciplines, including political science and international relations, international law, economics, and sociology, these essays cover the whole spectrum of post-conflict peacebuilding. In reflecting a diversity of perspectives the lexicon sheds light on many different challenges associated with post-conflict peacebuilding. For each key concept a generic definition is proposed, which is then expanded through discussion of three main areas: the meaning and origin of the concept; its content and essential components; and its means of implementation, including lessons learned from past practice.
This article seeks to draw out an understanding of the role of narratives and discourses of race, culture and civil society within international peacebuilding, through the location of the discourse of culture as a transitional stage between interventionist and regulatory discourses of race and civil society. It particularly seeks to highlight that the discourse of culture is key to understanding the peacebuilding discourses of intervention and regulation that have developed in the last decade. This is all the more important as the discourse of culture has in many respects been displaced by the discourse of civil society. In drawing out the links between the framings of race, culture and civil society, the article seeks to explain how the discourse of civil society intervention has been reinvented on the basis of the moral divide established and made coherent through the discourse of culture, and how the discourse of civil society contains a strong apologetic content, capable of legitimizing and explaining the persistence of social and economic problems or political fragmentation while simultaneously offering potential policy programmes on the basis of highly ambitious goals of social transformation.
The concept of security is the driver for peacebuilding and development, as well as social and political change in post-conflict countries. A review and analysis of three key government documents indicates that, in Sierra Leone, securitisation discourse is embedded in both the political economy discourse of the state and in the popular imagination. The Security Sector Review equates security and peace while the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper sees security as a driver for change. The 2006 Work Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security illustrates the extent to which the work of ministries is security-based. Sierra Leone’s political economy of post-conflict peacebuilding favours macro-economic security that is to trickle down into social and political peace. Discourse analysis shows that, framed within security parameters, post-conflict peacebuilding is meant to have an effect of ‘trickle-down peace’ that in effect constrains transformation with the potential for facilitating conditions for a return to conflict.
The UN has developed a series of internal ‘integration reforms’ that aim to increase its capacity to integrate its post-conflict efforts through a single coherent strategy, and ultimately to support sustainable war-to-peace transitions. This article argues that these reforms could be redesigned to take into account the causes of the (dis)integration, incoherence and complexity of UN post-conflict interventions, to make them more comprehensive and more realistic. While some degree of both strategic coherence and operational integration may be necessary to improve the effectiveness of UN post-conflict interventions, these are inadequate without an increased conflict-sensitivity in each UN entity involved in post-conflict interventions. For the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts, the parts must make a significant contribution to the whole.
On the eve of the invasion of Iraq, President G.W. Bush argued that if setting up democracy in Japan and Germany after WW II was successful, then it should also be successful in Iraq. This book provides a detailed comparison of the reconstruction of Japan from 1945 to 1952 with the current reconstruction of Iraq, evaluating the key factors affecting the success or failure of such projects. The book seeks to understand why American officials believed that extensive social reengineering aiming at seeding democracy and economic development is replicable, through identifying factors explaining the outcome of U.S.-led post-conflict reconstruction projects. The analysis reveals that in addition to the effective use of material resources of power, the outcome of reconstruction projects depends on a variety of other intertwined factors, and Bridoux provides a new analytical framework relying on a Gramscian concept of power to develop a greater understanding of these factors, and the ultimate success or failure of these reconstruction projects.
Countries need active, equitable and profitable private sectors if they are to graduate from conflict and from post-conflict aid-dependency. However, in the immediate aftermath of war, both domestic and international investment tends to be slower than might be hoped. Moreover, there are complex inter-linkages between economic development and conflict: in the worst case private sector activity may exacerbate the risks of conflict rather than alleviating them. This paper calls for a nuanced view of the many different kinds of private sector actor, including their approaches to risk, the ways that they interact and their various contributions to economic recovery. Policy-makers need to understand how different kinds of companies assess risk and opportunity. At the same time, business leaders should take a broader view of risk. Rather than focusing solely on commercial risks and external threats such as terrorism, they also need to take greater account of their own impacts on host societies. Meanwhile, all parties require a hard sense of realism. Skilful economic initiatives can support-but not replace-the political process.
This article analyzes the effects of household-level activity choices on farm household welfare in a developing country affected by mass violent armed conflict. The study uses household survey data from postwar Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces in Northern Mozambique capturing many activity choices, including market participation, risk and activity diversification, cotton adoption, and social exchange, as well as income-and consumption-based measures of welfare. The study advances the literature on postwar coping and rural poverty at the micro level by estimating potentially endogenous activity choices and welfare outcomes using instrumental variables. The study finds that increasing the cultivated area and on-farm activities enhances postwar welfare of smallholders exploiting wartime survival techniques. Subsistence farming reduces income but does not affect consumption, while market participation has positive welfare effects. This suggests that postwar reconstruction policies should encourage the wartime crop mix but offer enhanced marketing opportunities for such crops. Cotton adoption, which was promoted by aid agencies in the postwar period, reduces household welfare per capita by between 16% and 31%, controlling for market access. This contradicts previous studies of postwar rural development that did not control for the war-related endogeneity. Hence, addressing the potential endogeneity of activity choices is important because the standard regression approach may lead to biased estimates of the impact of activity choice on welfare, which in turn may lead to biased policy advice. The article discusses and contextualizes these findings, concluding with a discussion of suitable pro-poor reconstruction policies for national governments and donors.
Peacebuilding supports the emergence of stable political community in states and regions struggling with a legacy of violent conflict. This then raises the question of what political community might mean in the state in question. International peacebuilding operations have answered that question in terms of the promotion of conventional state-building along the lines of the Western Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) model as the best path out of post-conflict state fragility and towards sustainable development and peace. This article argues for peacebuilding beyond notions of the liberal peace and constructions of the liberal state. Rather than thinking in terms of fragile states, it might be theoretically and practically more fruitful to think in terms of hybrid political orders, drawing on the resilience embedded in the communal life of societies within so-called fragile regions of the global South. This re-conceptualization opens new options for peacebuilding and for state formation as building political community.
The security situation in Liberia is currently quite good, and at a glance the peacebuilding process seems to be moving ahead. However, the root causes of the conflict have not been adequately addressed, but have in fact become more interlinked in the aftermath of the civil war. Instead of addressing local perceptions of insecurity the international community made plans for Liberia without considering the context in which reforms were to be implemented. The peace in post-conflict Liberia is therefore still fragile and the international presence is regarded as what secures the peace. Still, the UN is supposed to start its full withdrawal in 2010, indicating that the international community will leave the country without addressing the root causes of conflict.
Since the end of the Liberian civil war in August 2003 the international community has been “making plans” for Liberia. However, it rarely questioned whether these plans were in accordance with the political and economic logic of the peace agreement and the subsequent transitional government. The consequence was that corruption continued and a much more intrusive economic management plan was established. The Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme is supposed to combat corruption and facilitate good governance, but it also limits the range of policy options for the new democratically elected government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The irony is that the best and most legitimate government that Liberia has ever had is subject to stronger external control than any of its predecessors. The probability that this scheme will remain sustainable when donor interest shifts elsewhere is low, and what is needed is a more pragmatic approach that draws a wider segment of Liberian society into anti-corruption management and creates checks and balances between them.
The “international community” is not the only actor engaged in statebuilding processes; contemporaneously with external intervention, at national and local levels of non-Western societies other actors are also engaged in struggles to establish their own visions of a state. The results are ambiguous: the states built tend to be hybrid, combining formal modern state facades with informal ways of functioning. This essay introduces the Special Issue by outlining the importance of the analysis of the dynamics of state-formation: the deformation that statebuilding undergoes in the process of its implementation. This framework can provide new insights into the limits of statebuilding by highlighting how the negotiation processes accompanying any attempt at statebuilding are shaped to a great extent by non-Western states’ and societies’ specific embeddedness in global structures. These states are currently subject to deepening dynamics of internationalization and informalization which, despite a growing formal convergence of state institutions with Western models, structurally limit the probabilities of ensuing liberal-democratic state-formation.
Contemporary Afghan politics is marked by a debate over the “mujahideen.” This contest involves the mythologizing, demythologizing and appropriation of the term by a wide variety of actors, from warlords, tribal combatants, the Taliban and Anti-Coalition Forces to rights activists and journalists. This struggle is a competition for legitimacy over the “right to rule” and the “right to conduct violence”; and it is critical to understanding the dilemmas of statebuilding in Afghanistan. Through such an examination, policy lessons are acquired concerning the role of the Afghan government and members of the international community in confronting armed groups.
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.
Post-conflict reconstruction theory and practice have advanced considerably over the last few years, yet the U.S. government and the international community still lack forward-leaning, pragmatic, reliable models for measuring progress in post-conflict settings. Efforts to assess progress in Iraq have been lost in the midst of rumors on the one end and overblown lists of achievements on the other. The sources usually relied upon, from media to U.S. governmentgenerated, do not on their own tell a complete story, and often reflect underlying biases or weaknesses. The Iraqi voice has been a key missing ingredient in most discussions and assessments of Iraq’s reconstruction. In this context, we set out to develop a broad-based, data-rich, multidisciplinary model for measuring progress in Iraq that has as its core the Iraqi perspective. This report assesses the readiness of Iraqis to take charge of their country, both in terms of actual progress on the ground in reconstruction efforts and the way Iraqis perceive current events. We blended several popular theories for methodology, diversified our research, and devised a system to evaluate information and progress in a quantifiable way.
From the ongoing war in Angola, to sporadic instability in Zimbabwe and Lesotho, to the conflict in the Congo, to issues of land reform and the ravages of AIDS, Southern Africa faces varied and complex threats to its peace and security. The authors of the volume assess the region’s major security challenges, as well as the roles of local, regional, and external actors managing them. Their theoretically informed – but practical – approach encompasses the political, economic, and military arenas.
Recent history has been marked by the rise of post-conflict intervention as a component of military and foreign policy, as a form of humanitarianism and as a challenge to Westphalian notions of state sovereignty. The terms of debate, the history of the discipline and the evolution of scholarship and practice remain relatively under-examined, particularly in the post-9/11 period in which post-conflict recovery came to be construed as an extension of conflict and as a domain concerned principally with the national security of predominantly Western countries. The subsequent politicisation of post-conflict recovery and entry of post-conflict assistance into the political economy of conflict have fundamentally changed policy making and practice. The authors argue that research into post-conflict recovery, which must become increasingly rigorous and theoretically grounded, should detach itself from the myriad political agendas which have sought to impose themselves upon war-torn countries. The de-politicisation of post-conflict recovery, the authors conclude, may benefit from an increasingly structured “architecture of integrated, directed recovery.”
In 2002, conventional wisdom held that the consolidation of Bosnia’s three ethnically distinct armies into a single force under a unitary chain of command was an unrealistically ambitious goal for the foreseeable future. NATO’s Secretary-General agreed that year to remove defence reform as a precondition to Partnership for Peace (PfP) membership, a first step towards NATO accession. However, less than two years later defence reform was being implemented, albeit incrementally and begrudgingly, and those seemingly distant goals were near at hand. Scholars and policymakers quickly focused on the motives for this unlikely reform process and the institutions it would produce. However, since 2006, the year in which Bosnia’s armies and defence ministries formally united, the literature has gone silent on the topic of defence reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The fact that institutional defence reform had been achieved overshadowed discussions of its impact and long-term implications. This article attempts to fill this gap by addressing the following question: how has military downsizing been implemented within the scope of defence reform, and how has its implementation either supported or hindered broader state building agendas in BiH?
Post-conflict governments and donors prioritize rebuilding the justice sector through state delivered rule of law and access to justice programmes. Misunderstanding the nature of the post-colonial state, such programmes make questionable assumptions. First, that a lack of access to state justice is the same as an overall absence of justice. Second, that the state system that is being built is what people want. Third, that the state system of justice that is being built could provide a sustainable nationwide network in the foreseeable future. Based on interviews conducted with policy designers, practitioners, local people and chiefs at three sites in southern Sudan 2007, this article calls for a rethinking of donor-supported justice and police development and advocates an approach that recognizes the importance of local justice.
This article examines the double standards associated with a precarious international peacebuilding strategy in Afghanistan based on impunity and half-truths rather than accountability and transitional justice. Many international organizations have turned a blind eye to past and current human rights atrocities through forms of rationalization based on an empowerment of cultural differences, relativization of progress and “policy reductionism.” Consequently, and in the absence of consistently applied rights instruments, societal divisions along gender, ethnic and other lines have intensified Afghanistan’s culture of intolerance to human rights, thereby violating the very principles the international community purports to uphold. Drawing on first-hand experiences, personal interviews and a sober analysis of trends, this article challenges some of the conventional assumptions held about the perception and knowledge of human rights among Afghans. It concludes by identifying possible areas of future study to better understand both the prospects for transitional justice and how ordinary Afghans continue to cope with widespread injustice and inequality.
The Trouble with the Congo suggests a new explanation for international peacebuilding failures in civil wars. Drawing from more than 330 interviews and a year and a half of field research, it develops a case study of the international intervention during the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s unsuccessful transition from war to peace and democracy (2003–2006). Grassroots rivalries over land, resources, and political power motivated widespread violence. However, a dominant peacebuilding culture shaped the intervention strategy in a way that precluded action on local conflicts, ultimately dooming the international efforts to end the deadliest conflict since World War II. Most international actors interpreted continued fighting as the consequence of national and regional tensions alone. UN staff and diplomats viewed intervention at the macro levels as their only legitimate responsibility. The dominant culture constructed local peacebuilding as such an unimportant, unfamiliar, and unmanageable task that neither shocking events nor resistance from select individuals could convince international actors to reevaluate their understanding of violence and intervention.
Why do international peacebuilders fail to address the local causes of peace process failures? The existing explanations of peacebuilding failures, which focus on constraints and vested interests, do not explain the international neglect of local conflict. In this article, I show how discursive frames shape international intervention and preclude international action on local violence. Drawing on more than 330 interviews, multi-sited ethnography, and document analysis, I develop a case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s transition from war to peace and democracy (2003-2006) I demonstrate that local agendas played a decisive role in sustaining local, national, and regional violence. However, a postconflict peacebuilding frame shaped the international understanding of violence and intervention in such a way that local conflict resolution appeared irrelevant and illegitimate. This frame included four key elements: international actors labeled the Congo a “postconflict” situation; they believed that violence there was innate and therefore acceptable even in peacetime; they conceptualized international intervention as exclusively concerned with the national and international realms; and they saw holding elections, as opposed to local conflict resolution, as a workable, appropriate, and effective tool for state- and peacebuilding. This frame authorized and justified specific practices and policies while precluding others, notably local conflict resolution, ultimately dooming the peacebuilding efforts. In conclusion, I contend that analyzing discursive frames is a fruitful approach to the puzzle of international peacebuilding failures beyond the Congo.
If international criminal courts are to achieve their aims—one of which is to contribute to the consolidation of democracy and the triumph of the rule of law over the instinct for revenge after prolonged periods of communal violence—perception of their legitimacy by the local population is a crucial factor. After laying out and comparing the basic features of the International Criminal Tribunal for the formerYugoslavia and the Special Court for Sierra Leone as to their respective origins, objectives, and programs of outreach, the article examines local reception from three standpoints: perceptions of overall legitimacy, perceptions of tribunal impartiality, and the effect of public perceptions of the tribunals on the respective countries’ reconciliation process.
Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) is the relationship between militaries and humanitarians. Largely conducted in post-conflict environments, CIMIC has become a key characteristic of military operations in the twenty-first century. However, the field is mostly understood through stereotype rather than clear, comprehensive analysis. The range and scope of activities which fall under the wider rubric of CIMIC is huge, as are the number of differing approaches, across situations and national armed forces. This book demonstrates the wide variety of national approaches to CIMIC activities, introducing some theoretical and ethical considerations into a field that has largely been bereft of this type of debate. Containing several case studies of recent CIMIC (in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq) along with theoretical analyses, it will assist scholars, practitioners, and decision-makers become more aware of the ‘state of the art’ in this field.
In spite of recurrent calls for a more locally rooted approach to thebuilding of ‘local capacities’, peace operations today are still largely under the influence of US hegemony and neoliberal values. Their aimis to transform war-torn societies along liberal lines, in both the political and the economic spheres. To achieve this, it is argued that the international community must begin by acting illiberally: rebuilding the structures of the state in order to give it the capacity to monopolize legitimate violence and manage the societal conflicts that are the unfortunate by-products of democracy and the free market. Leaders and ‘high politics’ are the central targets, as it is hoped that the rest of society will be affected in turn. However, this kind of social engineering from the top down can be counterproductive for the peace process and the nature of transition. Civil society should not be a secondary target: it should be the primary one. The Weberian approach to peace operations focuses too much on objective sources of legitimacy at the expense of those rooted in local, subjective perceptions of society. Since transitional justice has recently become part of the liberal peacebuilding ‘package’, integrated into a broad, positive definition of peace itself, transitional justice too should focus on civil society first. Building upon Habermas’s notion of communicative action and Putnam’s definition of social capital, this article will formulate the basis of a new approach to peace operations, one that would aim less at the rebuilding of state institutions and more at the reconstruction of social relations and unfettered dialogue between communities.
The illicit business side of armed conflict can involve clandestine exports to fund combatants, reselling looted goods on the black market, smuggling weapons and other supplies, sanctions evasion and embargo busting, theft and diversion of humanitarian aid, and covert ‘trading with the enemy’. How does such illicit business affect peace operations in conflict zones, and how do such peace operations, in turn, affect illicit business? This article provides a preliminary answer in the case of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Instead of reinforcing the common tendency simply to ignore or condemn the illicit business side of conflict and its relationship to peace operations, it stresses the more ambiguous and double-edged nature of the issue. Peace operations in Bosnia contributed to illicit business activities, but in some respects illicit business also contributed to a number of peace operation goals, including helping to sustain the civilian population and even bringing an end to the conflict. The end result was actually more of a symbiotic rather than exclusively predatory relationship between peace operations and illicit business activities.
After the ceasefire, a group of architects and planners from the American University of Beirut formed the Reconstruction Unit to help in the recovery process and in rebuilding the lives of those affected by the 2006 war in Lebanon. Here, a series of case studies documenting the work of the Unit discusses the lessons to be learned from the experiences of Lebanon after the July War, and suggests how those lessons might be applied elsewhere. The cases are diverse in terms of scale, type of intervention, methods, and approaches to the situation on the ground. Critical issues such as community participation, heritage protection, damage assessment and compensation policies, the role of the state, and capacity building are explored and the success and failures assessed.
Transitional justice strategies are frequently considered to be necessary components of postconflict reconciliation processes, particularly in societies that have been deeply divided by histories of intrastate violence between antagonistic identity groups. Drawing on recent social psychological research into the dynamics of intergroup reconciliation, this article contends that the transitional justice strategies most successful in promoting postconflict reconciliation are those that take account of the collectivized nature of mass violence in divided societies and that seek to foster instrumental, socioemotional and distributive forms of ‘social learning’ among former enemies. This framework is used to assess the unique local programme of ‘decentralized’ transitional justice that emerged in Northern Ireland following the Belfast Agreement of 1998 and its contribution to ongoing processes of reconciliation between local nationalist and unionist communities. The article concludes by considering what insights this analysis of Northern Ireland’s decentralized local process might have for the broader field of transitional justice and for the design of future justice interventions in deeply divided societies.
The unification of Germany extended the economic and political system of the west to the east. The system transfer led to a “problematic normalisation” as East Germans have tried to adjust to uncertainties they had never known: in employment, education and training, family life, immigration. A decade on, the book examines what kind of civil society has emerged, how East Germans fared in th social transformation and how processes of transformation in the new Germany relate to European policy agendas for analysing social transformation and its two key tenants: the transformation process affecting advanced industrial societies generally, and the process of post-communist transformation pertaining to Germany. The book addresses this “dual transformation”, firstly, by placing the developments in eastern Germany in a comparative European perspective and, subsequently, by considering in key areas of east German society and through personal responses, to what extent state-socialist legacies continue to matter.
The authors provide a context for understanding the region’s security dilemmas, highlighting the link between failures of economic development, governance, and democratization on the one hand, and military insecurity and violent conflicts on the other. The role of key regional and external actors in foiling – and sometimes fueling – conflicts is also examined.