Rushing to the Polls: The Causes of Premature Postconflict Elections

In the post—cold war period, civil wars are increasingly likely to end with peace settlements brokered by international actors who press for early elections. However, elections held soon after wars end, when political institutions remain weak, are associated with an increased likelihood of a return to violence. International actors have a double-edged influence over election timing and the risk of war, often promoting precarious military stalemates and early elections but sometimes also working to prevent a return to war through peacekeeping, institution building, and powersharing. In this article, we develop and test quantitatively a model of the causes of early elections as a building block in evaluating the larger effect of election timing on the return to war.

World Development Report 2011 : Conflict, Security, and Development

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.

The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations

This book explores the contradictions that emerge in international statebuilding efforts in war-torn societies.  Since the end of the Cold War, more than 20 major peace operations have been deployed to countries emerging from internal conflicts.  This book argues that international efforts to construct effective, legitimate governmental structures in these countries are necessary but fraught with contradictions and vexing dilemmas.  Drawing on the latest scholarly research on postwar peace operations, the volume: adresses cutting-edge issues of statebuilding including coordination, local ownership, security, elections, constitution making, and delivery of development aid; features contributions by leading and up-and-coming scholars; provides empirical case studies including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Croatia, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and others; presents policy-relevant findings of use to students and policy makers alike.

When States Fail: Causes and Consequences

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.

Post-Conflict Administrations as Democracy-Building Instruments

The period that stretches from the end of the Cold War until today has weathered the emergence of a large number of new states. With each addition, the international community has striven to regulate statehood and rein in its most erratic and unpredictable manifestations. In particular, the international community has tried to affect what kind of political regimes are set up in these new states. To reach that goal, multi-dimensional administrations have been set up by States or International Organizations to (re)build governmental institutions in territories where the governments have floundered completely. This strategy, while costly, has not been unsuccessful. Through international administrations of territories, several states have been rebuilt or restored, all of them endowed with democratic institutions. It is the aim of this Article to analyze the use of international administrations of territories to create or to reconstruct democratic states. After briefly recalling the status of democracy in international law (Section I), the Article explains how modern administrations of territories have proven to be democracy-building machines (Section II). Finally, it offers a critical appraisal of the contemporary resolve of the international community to create democratic states (Section III).

Ending Civil Wars: A Case for Rebel Victory?

The subject of effective civil war termination is important for three reasons. First, with regard to theory, the “give war a chance” argument forces scholars and policymakers to confront how they should think about the costs and consequences of war. If one measures the collective good in terms of a lasting peace, a systematic and general reduction in the destructiveness of war, and robust development, then, all else held equal, the “give war a chance” argument must be taken seriously. Second, civil wars are highly destructive. Yet they have traditionally been less subject to regulation and limitation by treaties such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions than have interstate wars. Until 1977, when the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 protecting “national liberation movements” came into force—governments were not restricted in the amount or nature of force they could use to defeat rebels. Moreover, many civil wars escalate to interstate wars, either by spilling across state borders or by provoking external intervention. Third, policymakers exert considerable effort to fnding ways to advance democratic institutions and rehabilitate the economy once a war has ended. Therefore, knowing which postwar environments are most likely to flourish as democratic polities with liberal market conditions and which are more likely to succumb to authoritarianism, corruption, or the resumption of war is crucial.

National Reconciliation After Civil War: The Case of Greece

This article discusses post-conflict reconciliation in Greece following the divisive civil war of the 1940s. Focusing on the elite political discourse and the relationship between reconciliation and democratization, its chief argument is that in Greece continuing disagreement about the civil war did not inhibit a process of reconciliation because it was voiced within a normative framework in which violence had been repudiated as a political tool. Particularly since the fall of the Colonels’ dictatorship in 1974, reconciliation has been linked to a number of distinct political projects, some of which were as divisive as conciliatory in their effect. In each case, reconciliation meant different things to differing shades of political opinion, but the widespread adoption of the term by both the governing and opposition elites, as well as society as a whole, gradually entrapped politicians of all persuasions into accepting that a process of reconciliation had occurred. Reconciliation in Greece has therefore rested not on the establishment of a single agreed narrative representing the truth about the past, but rather on the righting of perceived injustices and the free articulation of differing interpretations of that past by both left and right within a democratic environment.

Give Peace a Chance: Nonviolent Protest and the Creation of Territorial Autonomy Arrangements

This study examines factors that predict the formation of territorial autonomy arrangements for regionally concentrated ethnic communities. Territorial autonomies are institutional arrangements that allow ethnic groups to express their distinct identities while keeping the borders of host states intact. Although an extensive literature has investigated the capacity of autonomy arrangements to manage interethnic disputes, little research has addressed the precise origins of these institutions. The existing literature considers violent tactics as a primary factor that enables ethnic collectivities to attain territorial autonomy. In this study, the reasoning from the extant literature is juxtaposed with the arguments developed in the research on nonviolent opposition. Nonviolent movements enjoy moral advantage vis-a?-vis violent groups. Moreover, peaceful tactics have the advantage of garnering attention for the concerns of ethnic groups without the liability of provoking the animosity or distrust created by violent conflict. Based on the analysis of a dataset representing 168 ethnic groups across 87 states from 1945 to 2000, it is found that the peaceful tactics groups employ when seeking greater self-rule is the single strongest predictor of the formation of autonomy arrangements. In particular, this study concludes that groups that rely on peaceful tactics, such as protests and strikes, and demand territorial autonomy, as opposed to an outright independence, have a greater potential to achieve territorial autonomy in comparison to those groups making extreme demands through the use of violence.

State Making in the Horn of Africa: Notes on Eritrea and Prospects for the End of Violent Conflict in the Horn

This paper looks at the Eritrean state-making process in light of the 1998-2000 Eritreo-Ethiopian war and its aftermath. Three historical layers are discussed as determining the workings of the present Eritrean state. Their most important legacies are concerns around territorial integrity coupled with a deep mistrust of the international community, and a political system based on mobilisation coupled with authoritarian control. The war had two major consequences for the Eritrean polity: It led to many ruptures within the state, and it re-enforced deeply held suspicions towards the main international actors engaged in finding a sustainable solution. The latter’s involvement has resulted in a stalemate. Looking into the future, in a best-case scenario, pressure will be put on Ethiopia to accept once and for all its boundary with Eritrea as defined by international law. At the same time, this could open the way for domestic change towards constitutional government in Eritrea. At present, lacking a base for mutual engagement, future prospects for both countries, but more so for Eritrea, look bleak.

Closing the Gap Between Peace Operations and Post-Conflict Insecurity: Towards a Violence Reduction Agenda

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.

The Liberal Peace and Post-War Reconstruction: Myth or Reality?

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.

What You See is What You Get: Analytical Lenses and the Limitations of Post-Conflict Statebuilding in Sierra Leone

This article juxtaposes donors’ analyses of state failure and strategies of post-conflict statebuilding in Sierra Leone with actual processes of state-formation. It argues that international state-builders’ analytical and policy frameworks are built on stylized assumptions about how states form and operate influenced by ideas derived from neoclassical economics. They focus on individual decision-making and functionalist formal institutions and provide a-historical analyses that fail to comprehend long-term state-formation. Interveners need to broaden their conceptual toolbox by paying more attention to local power structures, informal institutions and historical path dependency. Such a deeper analysis would encourage reflection on whether and how social change can be influenced by external intervention and allow donors to evaluate their statebuilding activities more honestly. This would raise important questions about the mismatch between interveners’ ambitious goals and modest tools.

Iraq’s Political Transition After the Surge: Five Enduring Tensions and Ten Key Challenges

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.

Rethinking State-building in a Failed State

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.

Inequality and Democracy: Why Inequality Harms Consolidation but Does Not Affect Democratization

Under what conditions do democracies emerge and consolidate? Recent theories suggest that inequality is among the leading determinants of both democratization and consolidation. By contrast, this article argues that inequality harms consolidation but has no net effect on democratization. The author shows that the existing theories that link inequality to democratization suffer from serious limitations: (1) they are useful only for understanding transitions from below and thus do not apply to many other transitions (that is, those from above); (2) even for democratization from below, their predictions are unlikely to hold, since inequality actually has two opposite effects; and (3) they ignore collective action problems, which reduces their explanatory power. However, these objections do not affect the relationship between inequality and consolidation. In particular, while inequality has two opposite effects on the probability of transition to democracy, it unambiguously increases the probability of transition away from democracy. This article conducts the most comprehensive empirical test to date of the relationship between inequality and democracy. It finds no support for the main democratization theories. Contrary to what they predict, estimation suggests neither a monotonic negative nor an inverted U-shaped relationship. Yet inequality increases the probability of backsliding from democracy to dictatorship.

Beyond the absence of war: the diversity of peace in post-settlement societies

This article introduces a novel way of conceptualising variations of peace in post-war societies. The most common way of defining peace in the academic literature on war termination is to differentiate between those cases where there is a continuation or resumption of large-scale violence and those cases where violence has been terminated and peace, defined by the absence of war, has been established. Yet, a closer look at a number of countries where a peace agreement has been signed and peace is considered to prevail reveals a much more diverse picture. Beyond the absence of war, there are striking differences in terms of the character of peace that has followed. This article revisits the classical debates on peace and the notion of the Conflict Triangle as a useful theoretical construction for the study of armed conflicts. We develop a classification captured in a Peace Triangle, where post-settlement societies are categorised on the basis of three key dimensions: issues, behaviour, and attitudes. On the basis of such a differentiation, we illustrate the great diversity of peace beyond the absence of war in a number of post-settlement societies. Finally, we discuss the relationship between the different elements of the Peace Triangle, and the challenges they pose for establishing a sustainable peace, as well as the implications of this study for policy makers concerned with peacebuilding efforts.

Electoral Violence in Conflict-Ridden Societies: Concepts, Causes, and Consequences

What are the causes of electoral violence? And how does electoral violence influence conflict resolution and democracy? This article argues for a conceptualization of electoral violence as a specific sub-category of political violence, determined mainly by its timing and target. The enabling conditions and triggering factors can be identified in three main areas: 1) the nature of politics in conflict societies, 2) the nature of competitive elections, and 3) the incentives created by the electoral institutions. These clusters of factors are important for understanding electoral violence both between different societies and across elections in a specific country.

A Latin American Agenda for Peace

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Latin American leaders, particularly from South America, collectively raised ethical questions about the foundations and practices of liberal peacebuilding. Embracing the idea of democracy as central to peace, these leaders have delinked democracy from the free market ideology and have developed their own models of regional economic cooperation, conflict management and dialogue. This article identifies the main discrepancies between the Latin American discourses and policies and the liberal interpretation of peacebuilding. It contends that the Latin American model provides alternatives to the hegemonic peacebuilding discourse.

Democracy Under the Gun: Understanding Postconflict Economic Recovery

Increasingly, scholars studying civil conflicts believe that the pace of postconflict economic recovery is crucial to a return to peaceful politics. But why do some countries’ economies recover more quickly than others’? The authors argue that the inability of politicians to commit credibly to postconflict peace inhibits investment and, hence, slows recovery. In turn, the ability of political actors to eschew further violence credibly depends on postconflict political institutions. The authors test this framework with duration analysis of an original data set of economic recovery, with two key results. First, they find that postconflict democratization retards recovery. Second, outright military victory sets the stage for a longer peace than negotiated settlements do. This research deepens the understanding of the bases of economic recovery and conflict recidivism in postconflict countries and points to future research that can augment this knowledge further still.

A Bottom-Up Approach to Transformative Justice in Northern Ireland

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.

Keeping the Peace: Lessons from Multidimensional UN operations in Cambodia and El Salvador

Keeping the Peace explores the new multidimensional role that the United Nations has played in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding over the last few years. By examining the paradigm-setting cases of Cambodia and El Salvador, and drawing lessons from these UN ‘success stories’, the book seeks to point the way toward more effective ways for the international community to address conflict in the post-Cold War era. This book is especially timely given its focus on the heretofore amorphous middle ground between traditional peacekeeping and peace. It provides the first comparative, in-depth treatment of substantial UN activities in everything from the demobilization and reintegration of forces, the return of refugees, the monitoring of human rights, and the design and supervision of constitutional, judicial, and electoral reforms, to the observation and even organization and conduct of elections, and the coordination of support for economic rehabilitation and reconstruction of countries torn by war.

Iraq: The Contradictions of Exogenous State-building in Historical Perspective

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.

Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding: Moving from Violence to Sustainable Peace

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.

Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: A Lexicon

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.

Disarming Somalia: Lessons in Stabilisation From a Collapsed State

International efforts to resolve the Somali crisis have foundered on one central paradox: the restoration of state institutions is both an apparent solution to the conflict and its most important underlying cause. Somalis tend to approach disarmament and demobilisation-two central pillars of the ‘state-building’ process-with the fundamental question: who is disarming whom? If the answer threatens to entrench unbalanced and unstable power relations, then it may also exacerbate and prolong the conflict. In this paper, the authors examine disarmament and demobilisation initiatives from southern Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland. In southern Somalia, externally-driven disarmament and demobilisation initiatives in support of successive interim ‘governments’ have been widely viewed with suspicion and alarm. In Somaliland and Puntland, Somali-led, locally owned efforts have achieved a degree of success that can be instructive elsewhere. The authors conclude that conventional international approaches to ‘state-building’ in Somalia must be reassessedâ-notably that security sector issues must be treated not as a purely ‘technical’ issue, but as an integral part of the political process.

Reintegrating Armed Groups After Conflict: Politics, Violence and Transition

This book looks at the political reintegration of armed groups after civil wars and the challenges of transforming ‘rebel’, ‘insurgent’ or other non-state armed groups into viable political entities. Drawing on eight case studies, the definition of ‘armed groups’ here ranges from militias, paramilitary forces, police units of various kinds to intelligence outfits. Likewise, the definition of ‘political integration’ or ‘re-integration’ has not been restricted to the formation of political parties, but is understood broadly as active participation in politics, policy-making or public debate through parties, newspapers, social organisations, think-tanks, NGOs or public service. The book seeks to locate or contextualise individual cases within their distinctive social, cultural and historical settings. As such it differs from much of the donor-driven literature that has tended to abstract the challenge of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) from their political and historical context, focusing instead on technical or bureaucratic issues raised by the DDR process. Among the issues covered by the volume as a whole, three stand out: first, the role of political settlements in creating legitimate opportunities for erstwhile leaders of armed factions; second, the ability of reintegration programmes to create genuine socio-economic opportunities that can absorb former fighters as functional members of their communities; and third, the processes involved in transforming an entire rebel movement into a viable political party, movement or, more generally, allowing it to participate in political life.

From Politics to Arms to Politics Again: The Transition of the Gerakan Acheh Merdeka (Free Aceh Movement – GAM)

The present peace agreement reached by GAM and the government of Indonesia has brought major changes to the political landscape in the Province of Aceh, transforming GAM from being an armed group to becoming a non-armed poltical movement which has to compete in a regular electoral process. This paper looks at the character of the GAM movement, how it was drawn into the armed struggle, the factors and events that affected its adoption of a political strategy, and the present outcome of its transition. It was co-written by an Acehnese scholar and a German researcher, based on contributions made by two leading GAM members during the course of several focus group discussions.