While the study of the causes of civil war is a well-established subdiscipline in international relations, the effects of civil war on society remain less understood. Yet, such effects could have crucial implications for long-term stability and democracy in a country after the reaching of a peace agreement. This article contributes to the understanding of the effects of warfare on interethnic relations, notably attitudes of ethno-nationalism. Two hypotheses are tested: first, that the prevalence of ethno-nationalism is higher after than before the war, and second, that individuals who have been directly affected by the war are more nationalist than others. The variation in ethno-nationalism is examined over time, between countries, and between ethnic groups. Three countries that did not experience conflict on their own territory serve as a control group. The effect of individual war exposure is also tested in the analysis. Sources include survey data from the former Yugoslavia in 1989, shortly before the outbreak of war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 2003, some years after the violence in the region ended. Contrary to common beliefs, the study shows that ethno-nationalism does not necessarily increase with ethnic civil war. The individual war experiences are less important than expected.
Divided cities within contested states are a category in their own right, in that their division is driven by issues of national sovereignty as well as ethnic, religious and linguistic cleavages. Reconstituting them as integrated urban spaces, therefore, requires policy shifts on many levels—local, municipal and state—but too often these are hampered by fears of loss of sovereignty and external domination. The case of Jerusalem in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a prime example of how national sovereignty issues can be seen as having an impact upon urban divisions. One option that is proposed for the resolution of this conflict, which has generated intense debate on both sides, is that of a binational Israeli-Palestinian state. This article argues that there is a false dichotomy concerning the competing benefits of binational and two-state models in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It contends, on the one hand, that the binational model comprises many forms, some of which are more confederal in structure. On the other hand, for the two state model to function effectively a high degree of interstate coordination is required which brings it close to some forms of confederalism. The article examines the discussions on divided Jerusalem to explore this argument and highlights the degree of interstate coordination that is required if any of the plans being put forward for the future of the city are to work. It concludes by relating the Jerusalem example to the wider issue of divided cities in contested states.
International sanctions, which commonly seek to engineer target state compliance with human rights norms, often fail to deliver on their objectives. In recent years, however, a fresh approach has emerged through the rise of international justice, which can act as either a complement or an alternative to sanctions. In this article, the authors develop three hypotheses. Political change will be facilitated by: (1) lifting sanctions; (2) guarantees of non-prosecution; or (3) lifting sanctions combined with guarantees of non-prosecution. The authors test the hypotheses on Myanmar, a country that has long been subject to international sanctions, but that has rarely complied with human rights norms. Myanmar is also situated in a region where international justice is currently being applied through prosecution of former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia. The authors’ test was undertaken in June 2010 through a vignette-based expert survey that manipulated international sanctions, international justice and their absence in a 2 x 2 factorial design. The findings point to the need for a consistent approach. Lifting sanctions and guarantees of non-prosecution, when applied in tandem, are thought likely to promote political change. At the other extreme, imposing sanctions and prosecuting state leaders, when done together, are also viewed as facilitators of political change, though support is considerably smaller.
This article argues that an explanation of China’s stance on a possible international intervention in Darfur cannot eschew considering the wider context of the ongoing dialectics of normative change and contestation surrounding the progressive redefinition of norms of intervention since the early 1990s. It suggests that by emphasizing the need to respect Sudan’s sovereignty and the requirement that Sudan consent to an international intervention, China has sought to promote a return to more traditional forms of peacekeeping, as a way to oppose emerging interpretations of the norm of intervention, which it sees as a threat to its own security. Such an interpretation challenges the accusations of foot-dragging of which China has been the object. The hypothesis is tested by analysing China’s voting and declaratory record in the Security Council, and assessed against the country’s historical record on peacekeeping discussions in the Council. Embracing Finnemore’s argument that multilateral intervention represents the pillar of the post-Cold War international order, the article concludes by relating China’s norm-brokering effort to its asserted interest in reshaping the international system.
The article sketches the tension between power-sharing as a form of conflict resolution and the implementation of WPS norms in peace processes. It begins with an exploration of each process, before considering how the cases have broached the relationship between power-sharing and women’s representation.
Truth telling has come to play a pivotal role in postconflict reconciliation processes around the world. A common claim is that truth telling is healing and will lead to reconciliation. The present study applies recent psychological research to this issue by examining whether witnessing in the gacaca, the Rwandan village tribunals for truth and reconciliation after the 1994 genocide, was beneficial for psychological health. The results from the multistage, stratified cluster random survey of 1,200 Rwandans demonstrate that gacaca witnesses suffer from higher levels of depression and PTSD than do nonwitnesses, also when controlling for important predictors of psychological ill health. Furthermore, longer exposure to truth telling has not lowered the levels of psychological ill health, nor has the prevalence of depression and PTSD decreased over time. This study strongly challenges the claim that truth telling is healing and presents a novel understanding of the complexity of truth-telling processes in postconflict peace building.
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.
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.
What are the impacts of war on the participants, and do they vary by gender? Are ex-combatants damaged pariahs who threaten social stability, as some fear? Existing theory and evidence are both inconclusive and focused on males. New data and a tragic natural quasi-experiment in Uganda allow us to estimate the impacts of war on both genders, and assess how war experiences affect reintegration success. As expected, violence drives social and psychological problems, especially among females. Unexpectedly, however, most women returning from armed groups reintegrate socially and are resilient. Partly for this reason, postconflict hostility is low. Theories that war conditions youth into violence find little support. Finally, the findings confirm a human capital view of recruitment: economic gaps are driven by time away from civilian education and labor markets. Unlike males, however, females have few civilian opportunities and so they see little adverse economic impact of recruitment.
The current struggle to define the basic contours of Iraq’s political system pits those who support a loose federal arrangement against advocates of a return to centralized rule. Increasingly, this struggle is being defined in ethnic terms, with (mainly) Kurds defending the constitutional status quo against concerted efforts on the part of (Arab) Iraqi nationalists to reconfigure the balance of power between the center and the regions. The March 2010 election seems certain to strengthen the latter at the expense of the former. This paper outlines an alternative approach to Iraq’s federalism dilemma. Using the exemplar case of the Åland Islands, it is argued that a strongly centralized Arab Iraq is not inherently incompatible with an autonomous Kurdistan Region, and that by anchoring the Kurds’ autonomous status in international law, a destructive descent towards violent ethnic conflict can be avoided.
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.
The ‘oil question’ in Iraq has traditionally been viewed almost exclusively through the prism of ethno-sectarianism. Disputes over the management and licensing of the hydrocarbon sector and over revenue distribution have been seen as a battle for power between Iraq’s ethnic and sectarian communities, as if these were monolithic entities. This has led to a conviction—especially among US policy-makers in post-war Iraq—that solving the problem lies in a simple formula of apportioning control of the sector to decentralized authorities and dividing revenue proportionally. This view ignores the fact that disagreements over management of the sector and over revenue distribution reflect a deeper dispute that cuts across ethno-sectarian lines. In reality, disputes are driven far more by the as-yet-unresolved issue of whether ultimate sovereign authority in Iraq lies with the central government or should be decentralized to regional and provincial governments. As the main source of revenue in Iraq, control over the oil and gas sector is critical to the success of these rival agendas. Consequently, compromise has been impossible to achieve, and neither side is willing to make concessions for fear of threatening their long-term ambitions.
Tactical maneuvering by different parties in the aftermath of the recent elections may provide some temporary respite to the oil and gas dispute, as Arab leaders in Baghdad seek to co-opt the support of Kurdish parties to form a new coalition government. But an accommodation over the federalism question in Iraq still seems out of reach. This will not only hamper the legislative process and effective government in the coming years, but could also threaten stability, particularly along the fragile border that separates the Kurdistan Region from the rest of Iraq.
After the coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003, Sunnis revolted against the idea of de-Sunnifying Iraq. Partnering with the United States in 2006 was mainly an attempt to recoup Sunni losses once the United States had seemingly changed its position in their regard. This happened as the Sunni community increasingly saw al Qaeda and Iran as bigger threats than the U.S. occupation. The Sunni Awakening had two main parts: the Anbar Awakening and the Awakening councils, or the Sons of Iraq program. The Anbar Awakening was an Iraqi grassroots initiative supported by the United States and paid for by the Iraqi government. The Sons of Iraq program was a U.S.-led and -funded initiative to spread the success of the Anbar Awakening into other Sunni areas, particularly heterogeneous areas, and was not fully supported by the Iraqi government. If not for al Qaeda’s murder and intimidation campaign on Sunnis, and its tactic of creating a sectarian war, the Anbar Awakening—a fundamental factor in the success of the 2007 surge—most probably would not have occurred, and it would have been difficult for the United States in 2006 to convince Sunnis to partner with them in a fight against al Qaeda.
With the increasing influence of theocrats and other religious actors on policymakers and masses, recognising the agency of the clergy is crucial. This article uses the ‘epistemic communities’ framework to place the religious ‘agents’ in contemporary politics and it shows how hermeneutics can be treated as a form of ‘episteme’. Until recently, this framework has been used to explain how scientific communities affect policymaking. Using the cases of South Africa and Northern Ireland, this article claims that religious actors, especially with their shared set of normative and principled beliefs as well as shared norms of validity, also meet the requirements of the epistemic community category. The employment of this established IR framework in theorising religious politics has the potential to shed light not only on peacebuilding and mediation, but also violent movements and terrorist organisations that use religion as justification.
The leaders of the neoliberal world order are now intensifying their interventions by unleashing force with impunity while slaughtering people in the name of liberal internationalism’s peace, freedom, democracy and security. Their calls, interventions of imperial violence, push us to ask: how do we disrupt these dominant processes guided by ontological antagonisms and existential wars whose ultimate goal becomes ‘bringing life back’? In this article, I draw on Foucault’s biopolitics and articulate beyond his theorisations that imperial processes such as liberal internationalisms, neoliberal entrepreneurships and neoconservative politics are intimately converging and diverging in the reassembling and reconstructing of international life. More concretely, an analysis of the CPA planners and forces in Iraq points to those processes and terrains of antagonism that are foundational to the reassembling and reconstructing of this order: the direct use of force and the racial and gendered corporeal reconstructions (i.e. which bodies are deemed structurally impossible and ontologically dead) to engineer this universal/global order.
Most quantitative assessments of civil conflict draw on annual country-level data to determine a baseline hazard of conflict onset. The first problem with such analyses is that they ignore factors associated with the precipitation of violence, such as elections and natural disasters and other trigger mechanisms. Given that baseline hazards are relatively static, most of the temporal variation in risk is associated with such precipitating factors. The second problem with most quantitative analyses of conflict is that they assume that civil conflicts are distributed uniformly throughout the country. This is rarely the case; most intrastate armed conflicts take place in the periphery of the country, well away from the capital and often along international borders. Analysts fail to disaggregate temporally as well as spatially. While other contributions to this issue focus on the temporal aspect of conflict, this article addresses the second issue: the spatial resolution of analysis. To adequately assess the baseline risk of armed conflict, this article develops a unified prediction model that combines a quantitative assessment of conflict risk at the country level with country-specific sub-national analyses at first-order administrative regions. Geo-referenced data on aspects of social, economic, and political exclusion, as well as endemic poverty and physical geography, are featured as the principal local indicators of latent conflict. Using Asia as a test case, this article demonstrates the unique contribution of applying a localized approach to conflict prediction that explicitly captures sub-national variation in civil conflict risk.
In post-conflict contexts characterized by large-scale migration and increasing levels of legal pluralism, customary land tenure risks being deployed as a tool of ethno-territorialization in which displaced communities are denied return and secure land rights. This thesis will be illustrated through a case study of the Indonesian island of Ambon where a recognition of customary tenure — also called?adat?— was initiated in 2005 at the end of a high-intensity conflict between Christians and Muslims. Although a system of land tenure providing multiple forms of social security for the indigenous in-group,?adat?in Ambon also constitutes an arena of power in which populations considered as non-indigenous to a fixed historical territory are pushed into an inferior legal position. The legal registration of customary tenure therefore tends to be deployed to settle long-standing land contests with a growing migrant community, hereby legally enforcing some of the forced expulsions that were brought about by the recent communal violence.
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.
The securitization framework has greatly improved empirical analysis of security threats. Yet, it could benefit from heightened analysis of two often neglected aspects. First, this article argues that securitizers may invoke multiple referent objects to strengthen their argument that the referent object possesses the `right to survive’. Second, by drawing attention to the presentation of securitizing moves, as well as their content, it highlights how securitizers attempt to persuade multiple audiences that their securitizing moves should be accepted and countermeasures enacted. These claims are illustrated through the analysis of an atypical case of securitization performed by an unlikely set of securitizers, humanitarian aid organizations, as they argue that indistinctiveness poses an existential threat both to their material security and to their identity.
This article surveys recent cases of internationalized statebuilding in postintervention, post–(ethnic) conflict societies in the light of an academic tradition that has seen military forces as a particularly effective vehicle for integrating a country’s diverse population. It is argued that armed forces that are ethnically representative in their ranks and leadership can encourage a sense of commonality across ethnic boundaries, which can help secure a fragile peace. However, the connection between representativeness and integration is intricate; and whereas outside powers may enable otherwise unlikely outcomes, their leverage is circumscribed by a number of factors. The article also suggests that an ethnically representative army may “tie up” capabilities in ways that reduce the likelihood of military intervention in politics or (ethnic) violence perpetrated by military personnel.
This article investigates the security–development nexus through a study of local experiences in a neighbourhood in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. As the Sri Lankan state struggles to secure ‘the nation’ from ‘terrorism’, and to develop it towards a twin vision of modernization and return to a glorious past, large parts of the population in Colombo 15 remain at the margins of this ‘nation’. They are ethnic and religious minorities, forgotten tsunami victims, terrorist suspects and unauthorized dwellers – those often depicted as threats to, rather than subjects of, ‘security’ and ‘development’. This study reveals that the security–development nexus constitutes a complex web of linkages between factors related to housing, income, tsunami reconstruction, party politics, crime, political violence and counter-violence, social relations, and religious beliefs and rituals. People’s perceptions of and opportunities to pursue security/development are intimately linked to their position as dominant or marginalized within ‘the nation’, ‘the community’ and ‘the family’. ‘Security’ and ‘development’ issues are mutually reinforcing at times, but just as often undermine each other, forcing people to make tough choices between different types of security/development.
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 text provides a glimpse into the research-workings of a project entitled ‘Conflict Cultures and Intercultural Mediation’, based at the Berghof Research Center. It covers findings resulting from the pilot phase of the project, which came to an end in September 1995, and it can therefore only do partial justice to the range of expectations aroused by its title. The aim has been to bring home to the reader, working as closely as possible to the analysed material, just how difficult a form of intercession intercultural mediation is.
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.
With the hypothesis in mind that discrimination against women increases the likelihood that a state will experience internal conflict, this article contends that considering gender is a key part of an effective peacebuilding process. Evidence gathered by studying peacebuilding from a feminist perspective, such as in Rwanda and Cóte d’Ivoire, can be used to reconceptualize the peace agenda in more inclusive and responsible ways. Following from this, the article argues that a culturally contextual gender analysis is a key tool, both for feminist theory of peacebuilding and the practice of implementing a gender perspective, in all peace work. Using the tools of African feminisms to study African conflicts, this contribution warns against adding women without recognizing their agency, emphasizes the need for an organized women’s movement, and suggests directions for the implementation of international laws concerning women’s empowerment at the local level. The article concludes by suggesting that implementation of these ideas in practice is dependent on the way in which African feminists employ mainstreaming, inclusionary, and transformational strategies within a culturally sensitive context of indigenous peacebuilding processes.
Previous research concerning the relationship between conflict and public health finds that countries emerging from war face greater challenges in ensuring the well-being of their populations in comparison with states that have enjoyed political stability. This study seeks to extend this insight by considering how different civil war conflict strategies influence post-conflict public health. Drawing a distinction between deaths attributable to battle and those fatalities resulting from genocide/politicide, we find that the magnitude of genocide/politicide proves the more effective and consistent predictor of future rates of disability and death in the aftermath of civil war. The implications of this research are twofold. First, it lends support to an emerging literature suggesting that important distinctions exist between the forms of violence occurring during civil war. Second, of particular interest to policymakers, it identifies post-civil war states that have experienced the highest rates of genocide/politicide as the countries most in need of assistance in the aftermath of conflict.
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.
In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available. Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.
Can we regard all victims, including victims who become perpetrators, in the same light ethically, politically or legally? This is a theoretical discussion drawing from a diverse body of literature from political theory, philosophy, and the social sciences, to the work of peace and conflict studies and practitioners of reconciliation and conflict management. It begins with a general discussion of identity as it relates to politics, looking briefly at North American discussions of the social construction of identity and relating this discourse to conflict management in the twenty-first century. Secondly, it demonstrates what Mamdani means by the “worldview of the rat” in the context of the Rwandan genocide and outline the dangers of the binary logic such a worldview imprisons us within. This third section will discusses in more detail the condition and status of the victim today, keeping in mind the question: “who is a victim?” particularly as it pertains to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine. Fourth, it explores current discussions of the efficacy of dialogue groups, again mostly in Israel and Palestine, and attempt to draw out the implications for conflict management practice. Finally, it draws some conclusions regarding the remaking of political community that does not have the production of binary identities at its origin.
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.
Although the case-based literature suggests that kin groups are prominent in ethnonationalist conflicts, quantitative studies of civil war onset have both overaggregated and underaggregated the role of ethnicity, by looking at civil war at the country level instead of among specific groups and by treating individual countries as closed units, ignoring groups’ transnational links. In this article the authors integrate transnational links into a dyadic perspective on conflict between marginalized ethnic groups and governments. They argue that transnational links can increase the risk of conflict as transnational kin support can facilitate insurgencies and are difficult for governments to target or deter. The empirical analysis, using new geocoded data on ethnic groups on a transnational basis, indicates that the risk of conflict is high when large, excluded ethnic groups have transnational kin in neighboring countries, and it provides strong support for the authors’ propositions on the importance of transnational ties in ethnonationalist conflict.
This book seeks to move the debate on Iraq toward a consideration of how Iraqis, with the help of the international community, can build an inclusive and enduring social contract amongst themselves. The volume analyses the drivers of conflict and outlines the requirements – and obstacles in the way – of a successful peace-building enterprise in a country that has endured domestic upheavals, but also generated threats to international peace and security, for more than a generation. The authors argue that a downward spiral of violence and possible state collapse can be avoided – but that much needs to be done to achieve these aims.
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.
Both the obstacles to governance and the opportunities for democratization confronted in East Africa-with its geostrategic importance, porous borders, governments heavily dependent on foreign aid, and some of Africa’s longest-running conflicts-provide valuable insights into how good governance policies can be implemented effectively throughout the developing world. This book explores these regional constraints and opportunities, focusing on issues of civil society, the ubiquitous trade in small arms and light weapons, large numbers of refugees, tensions around national identity and the legacy of US policy.
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.
This is a theoretical paper on the individual and group rights in the context of conflict transformation. Excerpt from conclusion: The discourse on group rights is committed to explore, protect and strengthen individual and collective identities. One must see group rights as a component of the larger system of rights. The central issue is to make individuals and groups compatible and thereby avoid contradiction.
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.