The 2011 uprisings in the Arab Middle East: political change and geopolitical implications

The political upheavals in the Arab world during 2011 have irrevocably transformed the Middle East. Yet, as the year draws to a close and the euphoria subsides, it is clear that comparisons of the ‘Arab spring’ to the end of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 were premature. There has been—and there will be—no serial collapse of authoritarian regimes leading to a democratic future. Instead of ‘revolution’, the talk now is of ‘uprising’, ‘revolt’ or even simply ‘crisis’. One reason for the disagreement on how to label the events of 2011 is the inclination to think of the ‘Arab world’ as a unified entity. Arab societies and polities do indeed have tight interconnections and share at least some important characteristics. The potent myth of the Arab nation and the common public space pervaded by the idea of ‘Arabism’ has had complex effects since the beginning of the modern state system in the Middle East. It has been cultivated by powerful media, such as the satellite television channel Al-Jazeera. The contagious nature of the uprisings that started in Tunisia in December 2010 and spread to a number of other Arab states, helped by these media (among other factors), is confirmation that the component parts of the ‘Arab world’ are linked by strong internal bonds. Nevertheless, thinking in terms of ‘Arab’ events—or even an Arab event—may also constitute a set of blinkers. First, by compelling us to search for common trends and characteristics, it prevents us from seeing the profoundly different causes, contexts and outcomes of the developments of 2011—from seeing that each uprising was different, focused on domestic, national issues and comprehensible in its own light. Second, it stops us from placing these developments in other, possibly equally relevant, contexts of crisis and contestation. One such context could be the Mediterranean and more widely European—even global—protests which also unfolded in 2011. Another is the Middle Eastern context, which would locate the Arab uprisings alongside the post-2009 Green movement in Iran. Although the Arab framework is important, other perspectives can also yield invaluable insights.

Reconstructing Iraq’s economy

To establish even a marginally functioning economy out of the wreckage of Iraq would have been a daunting task. Despite decades of a heavily controlled, state-run economy; the deterioration caused by a succession of wars; a decade of international sanctions; and the looting and sabotage that followed the 2003 war, the U.S. government set its sights high after toppling Saddam Hussein: to create a liberal, market-based Iraqi economy, a key piece of its broader goal to bring democracy to Iraq.

The Role of Social Media and User-generated Content in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

There is a growing body of practice and literature on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in preventing and responding to violence. There is also a lot of excitement and corresponding literature about the role of the internet in non-violent change and democratization. The use of mobile phones, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and user-generated content (UGC) like blogs and YouTube videos in the protests in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as throughout the wider middle-east and North Africa (MENA) region have shown how ICTs can complement and augment the exercise of rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of peaceful assembly. This literature focuses on the use of ICTs before and during conflict, for example in conflict prevention and early warning. What about the use of ICTs in post-conflict situations; after the negotiation of peace agreements? How can ICTs be used in post-conflict interventions; more specifically in post-conflict peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and recovery? What role of can be played here by social media and user-generated content?

Greed and Grievance in Civil War

May 2000 Of the 27 major armed conflicts that occurred in 1999, all but two took place within national boundaries. As an impediment to development, internal rebellion especially hurts the world’s poorest countries. What motivates civil wars? Greed or grievance? Collier and Hoeffler compare two contrasting motivations for rebellion: greed and grievance. Most rebellions are ostensibly in pursuit of a cause, supported by a narrative of grievance. But since grievance assuagement through rebellion is a public good that a government will not supply, economists predict such rebellions would be rare. Empirically, many rebellions appear to be linked to the capture of resources (such as diamonds in Angola and Sierra Leone, drugs in Colombia, and timber in Cambodia). Collier and Hoeffler set up a simple rational choice model of greed-rebellion and contrast its predictions with those of a simple grievance model. Some countries return to conflict repeatedly. Are they conflict-prone or is there a feedback effect whereby conflict generates grievance, which in turn generates further conflict? The authors show why such a feedback effect might be present in both greed-motivated and grievance rebellions. The authors’ results contrast with conventional beliefs about the causes of conflict. A stylized version of conventional beliefs would be that grievance begets conflict, which begets grievance, which begets further conflict. With such a model, the only point at which to intervene is to reduce the level of objective grievance. Collier and Hoeffler’s model suggests that what actually happens is that opportunities for predation (controlling primary commodity exports) cause conflict and the grievances this generates induce dias-poras to finance further conflict. The point of policy intervention here is to reduce the absolute and relative attraction of primary commodity predation and to reduce the ability of diasporas to fund rebel movements. This paper – a product of the Development Research Group – is part of a larger effort in the group to study civil war and criminal violence

Understanding Civil War : Evidence and Analysis, Volume 1. Africa

The two volumes of Understanding Civil War build upon the World Bank’s prior research on conflict and violence, particularly on the work of Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, whose model of civil war onset has sparked much discussion on the relationship between conflict and development in what came to be known as the “greed” versus “grievance” debate. The authors systematically apply the Collier-Hoeffler model to 15 countries in 6 different regions of the world, using a comparative case study methodology to revise and expand upon economic models of civil war. (The countries selected are Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Indonesia, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Caucasus.) The book concludes that the “greed” versus “grievance” debate should be abandoned for a more complex model that considers greed and grievance as inextricably fused motives for civil war.

Understanding Civil War : Evidence and Analysis, Volume 2. Europe, Central Asia, and Other Regions

The two volumes of Understanding Civil War build upon the World Bank’s prior research on conflict and violence, particularly on the work of Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, whose model of civil war onset has sparked much discussion on the relationship between conflict and development in what came to be known as the “greed” versus “grievance” debate. The authors systematically apply the Collier-Hoeffler model to 15 countries in 6 different regions of the world, using a comparative case study methodology to revise and expand upon economic models of civil war. (The countries selected are Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Indonesia, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Caucasus.) The book concludes that the “greed” versus “grievance” debate should be abandoned for a more complex model that considers greed and grievance as inextricably fused motives for civil war.

Back to the Brink in Bosnia?

In the last few years concerns about stability of Bosnia–Herzegovina has increased. Could Bosnia go back to war? What would it take? How likely is it? Not highly likely, but far from impossible. Much turns on the behaviour of Milorad Dodik, the current Bosnian Serb Prime Minister. Nevertheless, it is too soon for the international community to close up shop and get out. The Office of the High Representative needs to stay on, at least until Dodik is off the scene, or his threat of secession is effectively neutralised.

Today in Sarajevo there is disturbing talk of an unravelling of the Dayton Accords that ended the bloody civil war there 14 years ago. Nearly 100,000 people were killed in that war, which pitted Muslims against Serbs against Croats, and saw Europe’s nastiest massacres since the Second World War. Since 1995, Bosnia has been at peace, but the main political parties continue to fight over the basic issues that started the war almost two decades ago. Concern over the general political situation has increased as nationalist rhetoric has raised the spectre of a re-division of the country and an ensuing descent into violence. Some in Sarajevo even evoke the possibility of ‘European Gazas’ emerging in some parts of the county, where there are hints that unemployed Muslim youth may be coming under the influence of a radical, foreign brand of Wahhabist Islam.

The international community has invested over $15 billion and 14 years of effort to ensure that fighting does not break out again in Bosnia. Washington and European capitals are naturally eager to leave the region given the many demands on their resources elsewhere in the world. Many European leaders, moreover, are eager to see the United States withdraw so that responsibility for Bosnia can be handed over to the European Union. This is a sentiment that the United States should support in principle, especially given the manifold challenges it faces elsewhere, but if a withdrawal risks a return to war, then it is clearly too soon.

Indeed, another Bosnian implosion would be a disaster, not only for Bosnia, but for the Balkans, Europe and the United States. The decision to leave must thus be based on a clear-headed assessment of the chances of renewed violence. If they are real, the international community and the United States must stay fully engaged, and the Office of the High Representative (OHR), the main instrument of that engagement over the last 12 years, needs to be kept open and possibly even strengthened. If the danger is imagined, it is time to pack up and get out.

Horizontal inequalities and conflict: a critical review and research agenda

In order to explain the emergence of violent conflicts, an increasing number of academic studies have focused on the role of inequalities between ‘culturally’ defined groups or ‘horizontal inequalities’. The concept and theory of horizontal inequalities is also gaining purchase in donor agencies and the broader international development community, particularly in the context of specific countries undergoing or recently emerged from violent conflicts in which such inequalities appear to have played an important role. In this article, we critically review the scope and evidence for the relationship between the presence of severe horizontal inequalities and the emergence of violent conflicts, and lay out areas demanding further research. We identify three main avenues for future research which could extend the horizontal inequality approach and deepen its analytical advances by focusing more attention away from the state. Two of these relate to the role of non-state centred dynamics in the evolution and interpretation of horizontal inequalities and their mobilisation capacity; the third relates to the broad sociological process through which horizontal inequalities and ethnic identity formation may, in fact, be iteratively or dialectically intertwined.

Natural Resources and Violent Conflict : Options and Actions

Recent research undertaken by the Bank and others, suggest that developing countries face substantially higher risks of violent conflict, and poor governance if highly dependent on primary commodities. Revenues from the legal, or illegal exploitation of natural resources have financed devastating conflicts in large numbers of countries across regions. When a conflict erupts, it not only sweeps away decades of painstaking development efforts, but creates costs and consequences-economic, social, political, regional-that live on for decades. The outbreak of violent domestic conflict amounts to a spectacular failure of development-in essence, development in reverse. Even where countries initially manage to avoid violent conflict, large rents from natural resources can weaken state structures, and make governments less accountable, often leading to the emergence of secessionist rebellions, and all-out civil war. Although natural resources are never the sole source of conflict, and do not make conflict inevitable, the presence of abundant primary commodities, especially in low-income countries, exacerbates the risks of conflict and, if conflict does break out, tends to prolong it and makes it harder to resolve. As the Governance of Natural Resources Project (a research project) took shape, the discussion moved toward practical approaches and policies that could be adopted by the international community. This book presents the papers commissioned under the Governance of Natural Resources Project, offering a rich array of approaches and suggestions that are feeding into the international policy debate, and hopefully lead, over time to concerted international action, to help developing countries better manage their resource wealth, and turn this wealth into a driver of development rather than of conflict.

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.

Civil War, Reintegration, and Gender in Northern Uganda

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.

Avoiding Ethnic Conflict in Iraq: Some Lessons from the Åland Islands

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.

Oil and the question of federalism in Iraq

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.

The Demand for Reparations: Grievance, Risk, and the Pursuit of Justice in Civil War Settlement

In analyzing peace processes in postconflict societies, scholars have primarily focused on the impact of prosecutions, truth-telling efforts, and reconciliation strategies, while overlooking the importance of individual demands for reparations. The authors argue that normative explanations of why reparations are granted in the aftermath of regime change are useful in understanding a need for reconciliation, but inadequate for explaining victim demands for compensation. The authors extend this research to study civil war settlement. In the aftermath of civil war, when some form of reparation is offered giving individuals the opportunity to seek redress of grievances, what types of loss and political and socioeconomic characteristics are likely to lead some individuals to apply for reparations but not others? Using primary data, collected through a public opinion survey in Nepal, the authors investigate individual-level demand for reparations. The findings suggest that understanding loss and risk factors may be important to civil war settlement and reconciliation.

All Conflict is Local: Modeling Sub-National Variation in Civil Conflict Risk

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.

Debating Darfur in the World

This article compares the debates and demonstrations about Darfur that have taken place in the Sudan, the United States, and Qatar and illuminates how political violence is apprehended and cultural identities are constructed. The rallies that occurred among Sudanese inside and outside the Sudan following the 2009 indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) are particularly revealing. Examining what has been represented worldwide as the first genocide of the twenty-first century brings to light the ideologies that are expressed in impassioned political positions. Ideology, which implicitly undergirds the mixed emotions with which the ICC warrant was received, has been fundamental to the Darfur story from the start of the crisis in 2003. Describing Darfur in three distinct sociopolitical arenas, one sees various scenarios that are akin to a play with multiple actors and scenes, each of which is contextually mediated and expertly produced. The disconnections, ruptures, and shifts in the flow of this narration point to the disparities in the situational, local, regional, and transnational forces at work.

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.

Diaspora Communities and Civil Conflict Transformation

This working paper deals with the nexus of diaspora communities living in European host countries, specifically in Germany, and the transformation of protracted violent conflicts in a number of home countries, including Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Somalia and Afghanistan. Firstly, the political and social role and importance of diaspora communities vis-à-vis their home and host countries is discussed, given the fact that the majority of immigrants to Germany, as well as to many other European countries, over the last ten years have come from countries with protracted civil wars and have thus had to apply for refugee or asylum status. One guiding question, then, is to what extent these groups can contribute politically and economically to supporting conflict transformation in their countries of origin. Secondly, the role and potentials of diaspora communities originating from countries with protracted violent conflicts for fostering conflict transformation activities are outlined. Thirdly, the current conflict situation in Sri Lanka is analyzed and a detailed overview of the structures and key organizations of the Tamil and Sinhalese diaspora worldwide is given. The structural potentials and levels for constructive intervention for working on conflict in Sri Lanka through the diasporas are then described. Fourthly, the socio-political roles of diaspora communities originating from Cyprus, Palestine, Somalia and Afghanistan for peacebuilding and rehabilitation in their home countries are discussed. The article finishes by drawing two conclusions. Firstly, it recommends the further development of domestic migration policies in Europe in light of current global challenges. Secondly, it points out that changes in foreign and development policies are crucial to make better use of the immense potential of diaspora communities for conflict transformation initiatives and development activities in their home countries.

Nation-Building and Integration Policy in the Philippines

The Philippines can be considered a country where successive governments have sought to create a single nation by implementing integration policies. In this article, two formal models are developed –the modernism model and the historicism (primordialism or essentialism) model — to suitably analyze the national integration policy of the Philippines. The analysis reveals that (1) the post-independence national integration policy of the Philippines cannot be regarded as being successful; (2) national integration in the Philippines will continue to be difficult; (3) no deterministic argument can be made regarding the relationship between mobilization and national cleavage; and (4) the modern nation should not be regarded as an extension of pre-modern ethnic groups but as a new identity group that is formed through the process of modernization. In addition, the mathematical implications of the two models are derived. The modernism model implies that (1) in some cases, a ruling group that is in the majority at the time of independence can maintain its position even if it cannot assimilate a majority of the underlying people after independence; (2) in some cases, a ruling group that is not in the majority at the time of independence cannot attain a majority even if it is able to assimilate a majority of the underlying people after independence; and (3) a larger ruling group is not always capable of promoting greater integration than a smaller one can. On the other hand, the historicism model implies that the size of the underlying ethnic group that will comprise the ruling group when mobilized is the key to the success or failure of national integration.

Conflicted Outcomes and Values: (Neo)Liberal Peace in Central Asia and Afghanistan

The implementation of liberal peace in the context of both transition economies and post-conflict situations often involves policy advice from international financial institutions for rapid opening of the economic and political systems. Experience, however, shows that the immediate outcome is increased poverty and inequality, leading to high social and human costs. Efficiency-based inquiries on externally supported state building and peacebuilding projects often use a problem solving approach which seeks ways to improve performance without questioning the validity of the liberal peace model. Inquiries based on critical theory, however, question the underlying assumptions and the legitimacy of the project itself. Using evidence from Central Asia and Afghanistan, the article argues that legitimacy depends on both how much, in the eyes of local populations, liberal peace actually improves everyday life, and how much it is valued as a goal and adheres to internal norms and values. The main proposition is that values determine how the liberal peace model is understood, while outcomes impact on how the project is accepted. High expectations of protection and welfare during crises also mean that the state can play a key role as legitimizer.

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.

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 Failure of State Building and the Promise of State Failure: Reinterpreting the Security – Development Nexus in Haiti

This article critically examines the discourse surrounding fragile states in relation to the security-development nexus. I draw on the case of Haiti to problematise key assumptions underpinning mainstream approaches to resolving concerns of security and development through the contemporary project of state building. In contrast, I suggest that a focus on the social and political relations constitutive of social struggles provides a framework for a better analysis of the historical trajectory of development in, and of, fragile states. Through an alternative relational interpretation of Haitian social and political formations, I illustrate the way in which Haitian experiences of social change have been co-produced in a world historical context. By foregrounding these relational dynamics at key conjunctures coinciding with periods in which the state, state formation and state building, were perceived to be central to Haitian development, this analysis highlights the extent to which attempts to consolidate the modern (liberal) state, have been implicated in the production and reproduction of insecurities. The article concludes by considering the salience of this relationally conceived interpretation of the security-development nexus for gaining insight into the alternative visions of progress, peace, and prosperity that people struggle for.

Liberal Peacebuilding in Timor Leste: The Emperor’s New Clothes?

A critical examination of the effort to build a liberal peace since 1999 in East Timor illustrates that to a large degree the liberal peace model has failed the East Timorese people. There are two aspects to this: the first is the failure to construct a social contract between society and its institutions of governance. This is related to the broader issue of the social legitimacy of, and contract with, international actors derived from society and its complex groupings. The second is the failure, at least in the transitional period, to respond to the experiences of everyday life and welfare requirements of the new state’s citizens.

Liberal Hubris? Virtual Peace in Cambodia

The article examines the nature of the peace that exists in Cambodia by critiquing the ‘liberal peace’ framework. The authors claim that, despite the best efforts of international donors and the NGO community, liberal peacebuilding in Cambodia has so far failed in many of its key aims. The liberal peacebuilding project in Cambodia has been modified by a combination of local political, economic and social dynamics, international failings, and the broader theoretical failings of the liberal peacebuilding process. There have been some important successes, but serious doubts remain as to whether this project has been or can be successful, not least because of the ontological problem of whether the liberal peace is at all transferable. This raises the question of what type of peace has actually been built. The authors argue that the result of international efforts so far is little more than a virtual liberal peace.

Development and Nation-Building: A Framework for Policy-Oriented Inquiry

We use the term “development” to refer to decision processes and decision outcomes which have been designed to induce the shaping and sharing of all values within and among territorial communities in ways with consequences approximating the goal values of a world order of human dignity. The component of purposive direction toward these postulated goal values distinguishes development from social change more generally. Social change, it will be noted, is an ineluctable feature of social process, for all actors are constantly seeking to change parts of the social process with the aim of making it discriminate in their favor. Hence social change is of no intrinsic interest to the policy-oriented approach to development. Development, in contrast, implies specific scope values with respect to which strategies for securing selective changes are invented and against which change-flows in decision structures and in the production and distribution of values are constantly evaluated. Thus, from a policy-oriented perspective, not all change is considered to be development; changes incompatible with human dignity can be characterized as retrogressions or as “disdevelopmental.”

Bosnian Education for Security and Peacebuilding?

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.

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.

Conflict, Social Change and Conflict Resolution – An Enquiry

The literature dealing systematically with the connections between change and conflict is hardly extensive, and that directly dealing with precise relationships between change and conflict resolution is even more sparse. In a way, this is surprising, for many writers in the field have made implicit, and in some cases explicit, connections between some form of change and the formation of conflicts, while others discuss conflict “dynamics” as well as those changes that are needed before any kind of resolution of a conflict can realistically be sought. A recent (and admittedly unsystematic) search of one university’s modest library revealed over 420 entries combining the words “change” and “conflict” in their title, while a similar search of a data bank of dissertation abstracts produced over 3,500 such citations. The essay, then, starts with an attempt to set out a framework for thinking systematically about the relationship between conflict and change, distinguishing between changes that create conflicts and those which make conflict more intense or which help to ameliorate it. This leads to a discussion of the nature of “change” itself, and the kinds of change that seem relevant to creating or resolving protracted conflict. The latter half of the paper switches focus to consider changes necessary to bring about the resolution (or transformation) of a conflict, once it is thoroughly under way – as well as common obstacles to bringing about such “resolutionary” changes. Finally, I suggest ways of thinking about possible actors that can help to bring about resolutionary change, and what strategies might be necessary to move protracted and intractable conflicts towards some lasting and self supporting solution.

Negotiating the Right of Return

Negotiating the right of return is a central issue in post-conflict societies aiming to resolve tensions between human rights issues and security concerns. Peace proposals often fail to carefully balance these tensions or to identify incentives and linkages that enable refugee return. To address this gap, the article puts forward an alternative arrangement in negotiating refugee rights currently being considered in the bilateral negotiations in Cyprus. Previous peace plans for the reunification of the island emphasized primarily Turkish Cypriot security and stipulated a maximum number of Greek Cypriot refugees eligible to return under future Turkish Cypriot administration. The authors’ alternative suggests a minimum threshold of Greek Cypriots refugees plus self-adjustable incentives for the Turkish Cypriot community to accept the rest. The article reviews different options including linking actual numbers of returnees with naturalizations for Turkish settlers or immigrants, Turkey’s EU-accession, and territorial re-adjustments across the federal border. In this proposed formula, the Greek Cypriot side would reserve concessions until refugee return takes place, while the Turkish Cypriot community would be demographically secure under all scenarios by means of re-adjustable naturalization and immigration quotas. Drawing parallels with comparable cases, the article emphasizes the importance of making reciprocity and linkages explicit in post-conflict societies.

Consilience of Knowledge for Sustained Positive Peace

The articles by Hugh Miall and Cordula Reimann in Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation (2001) attempt to map out a distinct theory of conflict transformation, but in the process they present the field of conflict resolution as a problem-solving theory (herein after, referred individually as ‘Article 1’ and ‘Article 2’, and collectively as ‘the Articles’). Conflict resolution is represented in the Articles by singularity of strategy, target group and as envisaging an end point to conflicts, when parties arrive at a ‘positive sum outcome’. This leads to a claim that conflict resolution is a relatively simplistic approach to contemporary conflicts, hence the Articles consider and develop conflict transformation as a more realistic approach to protracted violent conflict situations. This paper has two main aims; one, to provide an evaluation of the Articles and two, to raise the possibility of consilience at the level of knowledge, as the mainspring of ideas for concerted efforts to the problem of how sustained positive peace may be achieved in cases of protracted violent conflicts? “Consilience,” a term coined in the 19th century, refers to the uniting or integration of knowledge. At the outset, this paper evaluates the assessment of conflict settlement in Article 2, to highlight the contrast between the mainstream view and Article 2. Following this, the definition of conflict resolution proposed in Article 2 is appraised- to demonstrate dimensions and aims of conflict resolution which are reflected in the definition, yet not in the Articles. This paper then inquires into the original intentions of the architects of the problem-solving approach, the philosophy and background to their research agenda. In essence, their approach was very much a response to “power politics”- the dominant paradigm at that time (in the 60s). More importantly, the originators of the problem-solving approach do not claim their approach and its techniques as defining the field of conflict resolution.

The Struggle to Satisfy: DDR Through the Eyes of Ex-combatants in Liberia

This article calls for a re-examination of the justification, formulation and implementation of DDR programming in certain post-conflict environments. Qualitative fieldwork among ex-combatants in Monrovia, Liberia, suggests that the extent and form of DDR programming must be more sensitive to and predicated on context, accounting for conflict histories and current socioeconomic conditions and local institutional capacity. Moreover, in some post-conflict societies, a better use of international community resources may be to delink disarmament and demobilization from reintegration, focusing reintegration resources instead on open-access jobs programmes with discrete, complementary bilateral or multilateral programmes for particularly vulnerable groups.

Kosovo and the UN

Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia was followed by sporadic violence on the ground, and sharply divided the international community. Russia, China, India and a majority of the world’s nations opposed what was characterised as ethnic separatism. The United States and much of the European Union supported Kosovo’s independence as the last step in the non-consensual break-up of the former Yugoslavia. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sought to defuse the crisis with a package of measures including the drawdown of the UN mission that had administered Kosovo since 1999, Security Council support for the deployment of a European Union rule-of-law mission, and a status-neutral framework within which recognising and non-recognising countries could cooperate while Kosovo’s transition continued. Almost three years later, Kosovo’s new institutions have progressed significantly; Serbia is governed by moderates focused on that country’s European future, and the international military and civil presences are being reduced.

(Re)Imagining Coexistence: Striving for Sustainable Return, Reintegration and Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prior to the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats shared neighbourhoods and friendships. The war, through its objective and effect, divided these communities and groups. Postconflict, the physical return of displaced persons and refugees was, and remains, insufficient to renew coexistence. Moreover, the weak economy aggravates divisions, further impeding sustainable return and reconciliation. Recognising these difficulties, UNHCR launched ‘Imagine Coexistence,’ a series of activities designed to rebuild trust among ethnic groups in areas of return. Many of the activities involved an income-generating component. The article reviews this and other similar initiatives that aim to promote livelihoods, community development, return and coexistence concurrently. It finds that while such inventive projects receive limited attention and funding, they have achieved successes in repairing social relationships, addressing poverty and strengthening communities in Bosnia. Consequently, they should be given greater prominence in Bosnia and more generally in the design of transitional justice and peace building interventions.

Africa’s Development Beyond Aid: Getting Out of the Box

This article argues that Africa’s development rests not on aid, but on three key pillars: knowledge, entrepreneurship, and governance. Africa needs to think outside of the box when establishing these pillars. However, to make these three levers work, a change in mindset is a prerequisite. Africa has to start dreaming big dreams that empower it to see long-term. Africa must restructure societies so that networks beyond closed ethnic networks are more prominent. The larger social capital that will result will build a foundation for development. Africa also needs to incorporate new actors in its development agenda, including faith-based organizations, the diaspora, and the business class; and it must encourage immigrant entrepreneurs, especially Asians, to come in as chase rabbits. Better governance will come from the transformation of people from subjects to citizens. For success in international trade, Africa needs to learn the lessons of the Savannah, where the effective pack is the king.

Dealing with the Past in the Context of Ethnonationalism. The Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia

This text is based on a thesis that was presented at the Department of Peace Studies at Coventry University. The thesis presents a range of efforts being undertaken by civil society groups in the region, highlighting the absence of initiatives on the part of the government(s) and the wider public sphere(s). It concludes with an appeal to form broader alliances, and to also seek partners beyond those groups already working in this field. This implies, however, that two frequently observed tendencies among NGOs – both the mutual suspicion with which they regard each other, and the widespread prejudice that all politicians are incurable ethnonationalists – must first be overcome.

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.

Postconflict Reconstruction in Africa: Flawed Ideas about Failed States

Postconflict state reconstruction has become a priority of donors in Africa. Yet, externally sponsored reconstruction efforts have met with limited achievements in the region. This is partly due to three flawed assumptions on which reconstruction efforts are predicated. The first is that Western state institutions can be transferred to Africa. The poor record of past external efforts to construct and reshape African political and economic institutions casts doubts on the overly ambitious objectives of failed state reconstruction. The second flawed assumption is the mistaken belief in a shared understanding by donors and African leaders of failure and reconstruction. Donors typically misread the nature of African politics. For local elites, reconstruction is the continuation of war and competition for resources by new means. Thus their strategies are often inimical to the building of strong public institutions. The third flawed assumption is that donors are capable of rebuilding African states. Their ambitious goals are inconsistent with their financial, military, and symbolic means. Yet, African societies are capable of recovery, as Somaliland and Uganda illustrate. Encouraging indigenous state formation efforts and constructive bargaining between social forces and governments might prove a more fruitful approach for donors to the problem of Africa’s failed states.

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.

Divided Nations: The Paradox of National Protection

Internal displacement, which in many cases leads to refuge across international borders, has emerged as one of the major crises confronting the world today. The assumption, clearly erroneous, is that unlike refugees, who have lost the protection of their own governments by crossing international borders, the internally displaced remain under the protection of their national governments. In most cases, these same governments are actually the cause of their displacement, and worse—they neglect and even persecute them. This article aims to develop a new international response to the global crisis of internal displacement in acutely divided nations. It suggests the problem is more than a humanitarian and human rights issue; the underlying causes have much to do with gross inequities in the shaping and sharing of values and the gross discrimination and marginalization of certain groups. Citizenship becomes largely of paper value. The crisis is ultimately a challenge of nation building.

When Peacebuilding Contradicts Statebuilding: Notes from the Arid Lands of Kenya

Local peace initiatives have been introduced in post-conflict settings in aid of statebuilding processes. However, contradictions in such efforts that undermine the state become apparent in a development context when government institutions are, generally, functioning. Peacebuilding initiatives in the arid lands of Kenya are a good example of this. While they have proved successful in resolving conflicts at the local level, they challenge the state structure in three ways. First, some of their features run counter to the official laws of Kenya and jeopardize the separation of powers. Second, they pose a dilemma, since their success and legitimacy are based on grassroots leadership and local concepts of justice. Both can be at odds with democratic decision-making, inclusiveness and gender equity. Third, they provide yet another tool for abuse by politicians and other local leaders. This reveals a dilemma: aspects of peacebuilding can actually undermine a statebuilding endeavour.

Iraq: Preventing a New Generation of 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.

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.

The Future of the Mujahideen: Legitimacy, Legacy and Demobilization in Post-Bonn Afghanistan

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.

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.