Society–Military Relations in a State-in-the-Making: Palestinian Security Agencies and the “Treason Discourse” in the Second Intifada

The participation of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA’s) security agencies in the armed struggle against Israel in the second Palestinian uprising (2000–2005) is analyzed in this article as a response to the demand of Palestinian society, thus as a unique case of armed forces which, in the lack of political directive, became more attentive to public opinion. The article shows how Palestinian public discourse in the late 1990s–early 2000s, that was shaped by the Islamic movement of Hamas, portrayed the PA’s security officials as traitors. Members of the PA security agencies (mainly Fatah members) sought to reposition themselves in the “national camp,” and this motivated them to raise their weapons against Israeli targets. By doing so, they also removed the mental burden of turning their weapons against fellow Palestinians that was one of the major sources for their image as collaborators.

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.

Seeking State Power: The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

This report follows the history of the CPN (M) since its beginning in 1995, focusing on key turning points and analysing how the organisation constantly tried to adapt its strategy and tactics in relation to political developments inside and outside Nepal. For that purpose, exclusive interviews were carried out with Maoist leaders, most frequently with Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, who is one of the main policy makers of the CPN (M) and has been a key figure in successive peace negotiations with the state.

The Road to Peace in Ireland

This case-study is one of a series produced by participants in an ongoing Berghof research
project on transitions from violence to peace (‘Resistance/Liberation Movements and Transition to Politics’). The project’s overall aim is to learn from the experience of those in resistance or liberation movements who have used violence in their struggle but have also engaged politically during the conflict and in any peace process. Recent experience around the world has demonstrated that reaching political settlement in protracted social conflict always eventually needs the involvement of such movements. Our aim here is to discover how, from a non-state perspective, such political development is handled, what is the relationship between political and military strategies and tactics, and to learn more about how such movements (often sweepingly and simplistically bundled under the label of nonstate armed groups) contribute to the transformation of conflict and to peacemaking. We can then use that experiential knowledge (1) to offer support to other movements who might be considering such a shift of strategy, and (2) to help other actors (states and international) to understand more clearly how to engage meaningfully with such movements to bring about political progress and peaceful settlement.

Reconstruction as Modernisation: The Post-conflict Project in Afghanistan

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.

Dealing with Failed States: Crossing Analytic Boundaries

With the ever-increasing interdependence across individuals, groups, international organizations, and nation-states an increasingly significant policy concern in the contemporary turbulent world of globalization is the question of state failure. There has been a growing academic interest in the determinants of state failure and an acute awareness across the international community of the need for dealing with issues of instability in states. The contributors to this volume represent the most recent cutting edge approaches to state failure—looking at both conditions of conflict and economic development, dealing with the conceptualization, causes, and consequences of state failure, as well as policy-oriented analyses as to how state failure can be contained, reversed, or prevented. In order to deal fully with the phenomenon of state failure, investigators must be involved in a number of boundary-crossing activities. The contributors to this volume have addressed failed states through: multiple levels of analysis, assessing domestic and cross-border phenomena, internal and external conflict, domestic and international political economy; multiple disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches representing political science, sociology, and economics; various methodological approaches, including large-N empirical analyses, case studies, and simulations; and through both basic and applied research, drawing on the work of academics, IGOs, NGOs, and national governments.

Exploring Subregional Conflict: Opportunities for Conflict Prevention

The causes of violent conflict, as well as approaches to conflict prevention have been studied extensively, but only recently has attention been given to the subregional dynamics of internal wars. The authors of this original collection of subregional case studies explore conflicts in Africa, Central Asia and Central America, seeking new insights that can provide the foundation for more nuanced, more effective preventive strategies.

A Tale of Two Types: Rebel Goals and the Onset of Civil Wars

Previous research has implicitly assumed that civil wars represent a coherent category of events, but given the variety of rebel goals that supposition seems tenuous. We split civil wars into those where the rebels simply want to remove the government (replacement) from those where the rebels want to alter the relationship between the state and society (legitimacy). Theoretically, states are most at risk for a civil war of replacement when they extract substantial wealth from society and the government is weak. In contrast, civil wars of legitimacy are more likely to occur in states where the rebels have both grievances and a means to maintain their future viability. An empirical analysis of civil wars of replacement and legitimacy from 1960 to 1999 confirms both our argument about the different types of civil violence and their differing causes.

The Politics of Transformation: The LTTE and the 2002-2006 Peace Process in Sri Lanka.

This study examines the substantial non-military activities of the LTTE since the internationally-backed Norwegian peace process began in 2002 against the wider foil of transition from war to peace. The possibilities for transforming or resolving a protracted conflict such as that in Sri Lanka cannot be discerned without understanding the evolving socio-political conditions in which armed political movements emerge, grow and function. For example, the label ‘nonstate actor’ when applied to the LTTE, which controls a clear and demarcated territory and has established a substantial governance structures in these areas, obscures significant aspects of the conflict and the organisation itself. A ‘state within a state’ (Kingston 2004) would seem a more appropriate term in this context and one we look at more closely below. More generally, a nuanced understanding of the LTTE that goes well beyond the nondescript label of ‘armed group’ or ‘non-state actor,’ and of the wider dynamics of the conflict in Sri Lanka, are essential to promoting peace there. This principle underpins this study. Such understanding, we also argue, requires a systemic approach to analysis. Piecemeal approaches – for example, focusing solely on the efficacy of electoral processes in Sri Lanka – which do not consider the historic trajectories or overarching context of Sri Lanka’s politics, or the prevailing conditions, are futile. Intractable conflicts must be studied in their entirety.

The ANC and South Africa’s Negotiated Transition to Democracy and Peace

This case-study of the ANC in South Africa is one of a series produced by participants in an ongoing Berghof research project on transitions from violence to peace. The project’s overall aim is to learn from the experience of those in resistance or liberation movements who have used violence in their struggle but have also engaged politically during the conflict and in any peace process. Recent experience around the world has demonstrated that reaching political settlement in protracted social conflict always eventually needs the involvement of such movements. Our aim here is to discover how, from a non-state perspective, such political development is handled, what is the relationship between political and military strategies and tactics, and to learn more about how such movements (often sweepingly and simplistically bundled under the label of non-state armed groups) contribute to the transformation of conflict and to peacemaking. We can then use that experiential knowledge (1) to offer support to other movements who might be considering such a shift of strategy, and (2) to help other actors (states and international) to understand more clearly how to engage meaningfully with such movements to bring about political progress and peaceful settlement.

Corrupting or Consolidating the Peace? The Drugs Economy and Post-conflict Peacebuilding in Afghanistan

This article examines how the drugs economy emerged, evolved and adapted to transformations in Afghanistan’s political economy. With a primary focus on the conflictual war to peace transition following the signing of the Bonn Agreement, the relationship between drugs and political (dis)order is explored. Central to the analysis is an examination of the power relationships and institutions of extraction that developed around the drug economy. Expanding upon a model developed by Snyder (2004), it is argued that joint extraction regimes involving rulers and private actors have tended to bring political order whereas private extraction regimes have led to decentralized violence and political breakdown. This model helps explain why in some parts of Afghanistan drugs and corruption have contributed to a level of political order, whereas in other areas they have fuelled disorder. Thus, there is no universal, one-directional relationship between drugs, corruption and conflict. Peacebuilding involves complex bargaining processes between rulers and peripheral elites over power and resources and when successful leads to stable interdependencies. Counter-narcotics policies have the opposite effect and are thus fuelling conflict.

The M-19’s Journey from Armed Struggle to Democratic Politics

The 19th of April Movement was the first of many guerrilla groups in Colombia to start a negotiation process that concluded in a final peace agreement involving its demobilisation as an armed group and leading to some of its members founding a new political party, the Democratic Alliance M19. This not only paved the way for seven other groups to start peace negotiations and ultimately transform from armed to political actors. This study combines interaction between first-hand experience and academic knowledge of this peace process. The study is divided into four sections. The first explores the context in which M-19 emerged, the reasons for its appearance and the way in which it engaged in armed struggle as a political-military movement. The second section considers the internal and external factors that pointed this guerrilla group towards the path of peace. Section 3 analyses the way in which M-19 entered the peace process, negotiated a political agreement and subsequently formed a legitimate political movement that participated in electoral life. A final section draws out the results of this process, highlighting some lessons that could be relevant to other groups who consider a similar path.

Nonviolent Resistance and Conflict Transformation in Power Asymmetries

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

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.

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.

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

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

Rivalry and Revenge: Violence against Civilians in Conventional Civil Wars

Recent research on violence against civilians during wars has emphasized war-related factors (such as territorial control or the characteristics of armed groups) over political ones (such as ideological polarization or prewar political competition). Having distinguished between irregular and conventional civil wars and between direct and indirect violence, I theorize on the determinants of direct violence in conventional civil wars. I introduce a new data set of all 1,062 municipalities of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and I show that the degree of direct violence against civilians at the municipal level goes up where prewar electoral competition between rival political factions approaches parity. I also show that, following the first round of violence, war-related factors gain explanatory relevance. In particular, there is a clear endogenous trend whereby subsequent levels of violence are highly correlated with initial levels of violence. In short, the paper demonstrates that an understanding of the determinants of violence requires a theory combining the effect of political cleavages and wartime dynamics.

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.