This essay presents a theory of small arms demand and provides initial evidence from ongoing case studies in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Brazil. The theory revolves around the motivations and means to acquire arms, addressing issues such as contrasting acquirers and possessors and differentiating between acquirers and non-acquirers, consumers and producers, and final and intermediate demand. The essay also studies characteristics of small arms that make them so desirable as compared to other means of conducting violent conflict. The overall goal is to provide a theoretical framework and language that is common to a variety of social science approaches to the study of small arms use, misuse and abuse.
Several devastating conflicts have persisted in Sub-Saharan Africa for the past 20 years or more. Some countries are still emerging from the era of cold war politics, while debilitating internal struggles continue to plague others. Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, and more recently, Angola and Mozambique are examples of the former. The latter is illustrated by the situation in countries such as Liberia, Somalia and the Sudan. This study, the transition from war to peace in Sub-Saharan Africa, offers practical guidance and examples of good practice for improving the design and implementation of programs for demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration of ex-combatants and their dependents in client countries. It also provides a list of early warning signals that indicate whether the demobilization and reintegration programs (DRPs) process is not going according to plan and suggests preventive actions. Work on the ground, as well as case analysis in countries such as Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Angola, Mozambique, and Rwanda form the basis of the suggested good practice in DRPs.
The broadened and deepened notion of security has been evolving in two dimensions, one primarily intellectual and the other concerned more with political practice and policy. This paper briefly describes these dimensions, and then critically examines the acceptance of the new notion of security in the form a security-is-development thesis in South African security policy. This case shows how the security-is-development thesis affects the functions of security agencies and legitimates their anti-democratic behaviour. The case serves as a cautionary tale about how an intellectual construct, movement and school, originally intended to be a critique of state behaviour, can become a tool of state power at the expense of democracy.
International school textbook revision and research became a professional academic activity after the First World War. It broadened its scope and methodological approaches considerably after the collapse of the bipolar world. Today, a number of different agencies, such as international governmental institutions, NGOs, and academic as well as pedagogical institutions, are involved in projects on the revision of history teaching in postconflict societies. This article examines the pros and cons of different project designs, focusing on the sometimes contradictory aims projects are expected to achieve and on the interplay between the various agencies. Examples highlighting the reconstruction and reconciliation process are taken from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel-Palestine, and Rwanda and South Africa.
The metaphor of the vicious circle is deeply embedded in analysis of protracted conflicts. Yet in at least some instances conflicts that appear to be self-reinforcing in the short term are in the longer run producing conditions out of which new political orders can emerge. These protracted conflicts are thus dynamic, not static, crises and require post-conflict assistance strategies that are informed by accurate trend analysis. The case of Somalia is used to illustrate the dramatic changes that occur over time in patterns of armed conflict, criminality, and governance in a collapsed state. These changes have produced a dense network of informal and formal systems of communication, cooperation, and governance in Somalia, helping local communities adapt to state collapse, manage risk, and provide for themselves a somewhat more predictable environment in which to pursue livelihoods. Crucial to this evolution of anarchy in Somalia has been the shifting interests of an emerging business community, for whom street crime and armed conflict are generally bad for business.
In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available. Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is undoubtedly the most widely discussed truth and reconciliation process in the world, and by many accounts, the TRC is among the most effective any country has yet produced. What is the explanation for its success? This article has two objectives. First, it seeks to identify the characteristics of South Africa’s truth and reconciliation process that contributed to its performance. Second, it then asks whether the truth and reconciliation process is itself endogenous. Thus, the ultimate objective is to assess whether truth and reconciliation processes can have an independent influence on reconciliation and especially on the likelihood of consolidating an attempted democratic transition. The conclusion of this article is that the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa did indeed exert independent influence on the democratization process through its contributions toward creating a more reconciled society.
This report was written with the intention of providing information and enhancing the debate around accountability processes, and in particular further prosecutions in South Africa. The report begins with an overview of the international obligations around holding perpetrators accountable within post-conflict societies. This overview also includes a description of attempts in Argentina and Chile to pursue prosecutions in conjunction with (or following upon) a truth commission. The next section of the report focuses specifically on South Africa, and consolidates the information on indemnities, amnesties and prosecutions from the 1990s to present. A legal analysis of the amended prosecution guidelines, passed in 2005 is then provided. This analysis is provided in that it is deemed as a policy which has, and will continue to, affect prosecutions for “conflicts of the past.” The report then continues with a case study of the Highgate Massacre of 1993, which explores the opportunities and challenges for further investigations and prosecutions. Finally, some concluding remarks are made which highlights some of the key points outlined through the report.
This report seeks to address the question “what happens to protagonists for change once that change has been achieved?” by analysing the transformations of peace/human rights civil society organisations (CSOs) during peace processes and democratic transitions in South Africa and Guatemala. Section one clarifies the analytical ground by exploring the conceptual roots, definitional boundaries, organisational and functional characteristics, and normative understanding of CSOs, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Section two adopts a more dynamic approach, assessing the organisational and functional shifts undergone by CSOs during and in the aftermath of peace processes and democratic transitions. This literature survey is then followed, in sections three and four, by two empirical studies on CSOs in South Africa and Guatemala, where interviews were collected in April 2007 with current and former members of relevant organisations. The conclusion, finally, draws a brief comparative summary of the main findings in both case studies, and derives a few conceptual and practical implications for the research, CSO and international donor communities.
This Article considers the role of crime in transitional states. I draw on three case studies, two from Latin America (Brazil and El Salvador), and one from sub-Saharan Africa (South Africa). It first briefly considers the similarity in focus of transitional justice approaches to police and criminal justice reform, invoking acculturation theory to explain the replication of a dominant, backward-looking script across different transitional states. Next, it considers the frequent inability of police and the criminal justice system to cope adequately with rising crime using these replicated scripts and the consequences of this failure for the defense of human rights, the rule of law, and the stability of new democracies. The Article assesses the particular dynamics of these processes for each of the three country case studies. Throughout the Article, I seek to demonstrate that it is crucial to address deficiencies in domestic criminal justice systems precisely during periods of transition and that criminal justice solutions should be developed at this time-to the extent possible-in an objective and comprehensive fashion, rather than in ways that seek to respond to problems of the pre-transitional state. In this way, I suggest, transitional justice can progress beyond existing, backward-looking frameworks to build nations capable of addressing the challenges they will face as they move forward.
In the midst of the current crisis of crime and violence, it seems almost trite to state that there is a need for greater respect for justice and the law in South Africa. As reflected in some recent studies on organised crime, attitudes of ambivalence towards the law on the part of many South Africans contribute to an environment in which organised, and other crime, flourishes. Known criminals are widely tolerated, or even admired – notably if they are perceived as preying on people from other communities. This forms part of a culture which also condones other illegal practices, spanning everything from the buying of stolen goods and illegal reconnections, to corruption and white-collar crime. The fact that there is also a significant problem of vigilantism is also obviously a manifestation of a lack of respect for the law. Vigilantism is, in part, motivated by the sense that people have that they need to take the law into their own hands as they cannot rely on the criminal justice system to enforce the law. This belief in the ineffectiveness of the criminal justice system in turn provides vigilantes with the confidence that, in punishing the alleged perpetrators of the original crime, they themselves can violate the law with impunity.
Countries that have been through transition find themselves faced with the task of (re)building political, economic and social stability. One of the main areas of concern for countries that have experienced some form of conflict on the path towards democracy (like South Africa) is the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants. DDR programmes have been developed and implemented across the continent. According to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone (Harsch, 2005), long-term stability depends on the existence of a comprehensive DDR programme. In reality, however, these programmes tend to fall short of being comprehensive. In countries where aspects of the DDR process were poorly managed, such as South Africa, the effects are still being felt today. According to Everatt & Jennings (2006), the demobilisation process in South Africa was riddled with difficulties. Many ex-combatants were not included and the process was characterised by several administrative problems. They go on to describe the process as “a complete mess” (2006, p.21) and suggest that due to this it is not surprising that many ex-combatants continue to strugglle. The project aims to empower ex-combatants to engage in policy dialogue with key stakeholders on addressing their psychosocial needs. This will be achieved through facilitating their engagement in evaluating and identifying gaps in the psychosocial services available to them.