Do Working Men Rebel? Insurgency and Unemployment in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines

Most aid spending by governments seeking to rebuild social and political order is based on an opportunity-cost theory of distracting potential recruits. The logic is that gainfully employed young men are less likely to participate in political violence, implying a positive correlation between unemployment and violence in locations with active insurgencies. The authors test that prediction in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines, using survey data on unemployment and two newly available measures of insurgency: (1) attacks against government and allied forces and (2) violence that kill civilians. Contrary to the opportunity-cost theory, the data emphatically reject a positive correlation between unemployment and attacks against government and allied forces (p < .05 percent). There is no significant relationship between unemployment and the rate of insurgent attacks that kill civilians. The authors identify several potential explanations, introducing the notion of insurgent precision to adjudicate between the possibilities that predation on one hand, and security measures and information costs on the other, account for the negative correlation between unemployment and violence in these three conflicts.

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.

Kashmir: New Voices, New Approaches

Uniquely representing all sides in the conflict over Kashmir, this innovative new book provides a forum for discussion not only of existing proposals for ending the conflict, but also of possible new paths toward settlement. Contributors from India, Pakistan, and Kashmir explore the subnational and national dimensions of the ongoing hostilities, the role of the international community, and future prospects. The result is an informed overview of the present state of affairs – and a realistic examination of the potential for peaceful resolution.

Strategies and Needs of NGOs Dealing with Ethno-Political Conflicts in the New Eastern Democracies

The study describes the strategies and needs of local and regional NGOs focusing on the transformation of ethno-political conflicts in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Central-Eastern Europe.  On the basis of 70 semi-structured group interviews it discusses 56 NGOs and active individuals dealing with a number of issues ranging from education and training via human rights advocacy and fact-finding to mediation.  Their common trait is the commitment to the constructive and non-violent transformation of ethno-political conflicts.

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

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

Roles and Functions of Third Parties in the Constructive Management of Ethnopolitical Conflicts

The opposition between the ethnically defined parties frequently appears so all-embracing and thoroughgoing that it seems impossible for the conflict to be deescalated without the participation of actors not involved in it. These latter have come to be known by the term third parties. Third parties can be either governmental/non-governmental institutions or single individuals/groups of individuals who are not involved, at least directly, in the conflict. Where agreement is lacking, however, is in regard to the precise roles and functions these third parties should assume in order to have a truly peace-making effect. This question will be examined more closely in what follows here.

Peaceful Intervention: Structures, Processes, and Strategies for the Constructive Regulation of Ethnopolitical Conflicts

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).

Mediation, Political Engagement, and 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.

Intercultural Mediation: A Difficult Brokerage. An Empirical-Analytical Attempt to Access the Impact of Cultural Differences

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.

Peacemaking in Rwanda: The Dynamics of Failure

The 1990s has seen an explosion of attention to the phenomenon of civil wars. A proliferation of actors has added complexity to conflict resolution processes. Recent theoretical research has highlighted the importance of inter-connections between parallel or overlapping conflict resolution activities. With this context in view, this book explores the connections between different regional and international conflict resolution efforts that accompanied the Rwandan civil war (from 1990 to 1994), and assesses the individual and collective impact they had on the course of that conflict. Jones explores the reasons for the failure of wide-ranging peace efforts to forestall genocidal violence in Rwanda in 1994. The book traces the individual and collective impact of both official and unofficial mediation efforts, peacekeeping missions, and humanitarian aid. It sets the peace effort in Rwanda in the wider context of academic theories about civil war and its resolution, and identifies a range of policy implications and challenges relating to conflict prevention, negotiation, and peacemaking.

Sudan: The Elusive Quest for Peace

This concise volume examines the cultural, sociopolitical, economic, and geographic facets of the prolonged hostilities that have embroiled Sudan since its independence. With great care, the authors address both the internal grievances that fuel the current conflict in Darfur, and the failure of regional and international actors to fully come to terms with the complexities of the issues involved.

Crisis Prevention and Conflict Management by the European Union: Concepts, Capacities and Problems of Coherence

The first part of this article analyzes the new approaches and structures adopted in the ‘crisis prevention’ policy-making field. It sketches out the guidelines of the European Commission and the European Council, which have formed an appropriate framework for the analysis of conflicts, for early warning and early action. It then, outlines the extent to which first capacities have emerged in this field and how the interaction of very different actors has increased since the mid-1990s. The second section of the article examines the relationship between the EU and African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries in this context.

Conclusion: From Iron Fist to Invisible Hand – Peace Operations, Organized Crime and Intelligent International Law Enforcement

This conclusion reviews the Special Issue’s perspective on organized crime as both potential ‘enemy’ and ‘ally’ of peace processes. The social and economic power wielded by organized crime is highlighted, pointing to the role that peace operations play as an intervening variable between individuals/communities and the environments in which they operate. Peace operations use a range of tactics, from coercion to co-option, working with or against organized crime. However, these tactics will only be successful if they are framed within a coherent strategy, which may pursue either containment or transformation- or seek to combine them- through a phased transitional strategy. Peace operations should be a key component in a broad strategy of intelligent international law enforcement.

The Challenge of DDR in Northern Uganda: The Lord’s Resistance Army

Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels have been fighting in northern Uganda for the past two decades in conflict which has devastated the region. The group is notorious for abducting children and young people. Over 20,000 have been taken since the war began and turned into soldiers and rebel “wives”. This is the context of Uganda’s informal disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme. Rather than being an organised process set up to help consolidate peace at the end of war, it has largely been a necessary response to a flow of escaping former abductees, taking place within an on-going conflict. In 2006, the government of South Sudan began mediating peace talks between the LRA and the Ugandan government. Although the talks have yet to deliver, they have focused attention on managing an end to the conflict, including a formal programme of DDR to deal with those rebels remaining in the bush. Based on primary research- undertaken in Gulu, Kitgum, Kira and Apac Districts of northern Uganda in August and September 2005 and March 2006- this paper lays out the problems that have marred earlier attempts to reintegrate former LRA combatants- and looks at the challenges that lie ahead.