A key contention of the transitional justice movement is that the more comprehensive and vigorous the effort to bring justice to a departed authoritarian regime the better the democratizing outcome will be. This essay challenges this view with empirical evidence from the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, a sweeping policy of purges intended to cleanse the state and society of the authoritarian past nearly derailed the transition to democracy by descending into a veritable witch-hunt. In Spain, by contrast, letting bygones be bygones, became a foundation for democratic consolidation. These counter-intuitive examples suggest that there is no pre-ordained outcome to transitional justice, and that confronting an evil past is neither a requirement nor a pre-condition for democratization. This is primarily because the principal factors driving the impulse toward justice against the old regime are political rather than ethical or moral. In Portugal, the rise of transitional justice mirrored the anarchic politics of the revolution that lunched the transition to democracy. In Spain, the absence of transitional justice reflected the pragmatism of a democratic transition anchored on compromise and consensus.
Judging by the popular press, in January 2011 Twitter and Facebook went from being simply engaging social diversions to become engines of political change that upended decades of Arab authoritarianism. It is tempting to be swept away by this narrative, which suggests that social media prompted hundreds of thousands, and then millions, of Tunisians and Egyptians to pour into the streets and peacefully demand change. Brittle authoritarian regimes had little choice but to comply, and in this way, social media irrevocably changed the future of the Middle East. Following the logic to its conclusion, it would suggest that the Middle East is on the brink of a period of democratic consolidation, as the ideals and tools of revolutionaries lead the region forward into a period of anti-sectarianism, liberalism, and hope.
On numerous occasions in the past fifteen years, U.N. peacekeepers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing the populations they serve. A Comprehensive Review of peacekeeper misconduct completed in 2005 identified significant problems and recommended numerous changes to address them. The U.S. Army and NATO, in a response to the possibility that their deployed troops will be engaged in or facilitate human trafficking, have enacted new policies intended to remove their troops from the demand for women trafficked for sexual services. The Department of Defense and NATO initiatives are similar to those being considered by the United Nations for preventing sexual misconduct by its peacekeepers. Because the United States, NATO, and the United Nations are all addressing the problems of sexual misconduct by deployed troops, their efforts should be mutually reinforcing. The examples of American and NATO armed forces offer hope that the United Nations will also enact strong measures to prevent future misconduct by its peacekeepers.
This article analyses which of the major lessons learned from previous experiences in nation building have been applied or ignored in Iraq. It focuses on the first six months of the post-combat period, a time frame generally recognised as being critical for laying the foundations for a stable and democratic future. A review of previous cases points to six lessons that, in fact, have been unlearned, and only two that have been realised in this initial phase in Iraq.
Civil wars and state repression have left many societies traumatised and shattered. Unsolved atrocities and injustices can easily provoke new cycles of violence. Impunity may undermine trust in the legal system, increasing the risk that vigilante justice will be resorted to and encourage further atrocities. Mistrust and hatred between former adversaries inhibits reconstruction, decision making and economic development. An amnesty deal may be required to end violence and enable a peace treaty. The call for compromise and national reconciliation may be necessary to ensure an end to hostilities, but past injustices that are never addressed can easily become a source of renewed violent conflict. Often victims can only make peace with their perpetrators if they know their own suffering and that of their loved ones is officially acknowledged. Furthermore, for the reintegration of perpetrators and victims into society they must be commonly accepted. The first section of this chapter reviews various instruments and institutions that have been established to support peaceful coexistence and the restoration of law. It addresses the following questions: Under which conditions can criminal tribunals, truth commissions or amnesty laws be helpful in dealing with past atrocities? How can property issues be solved through mediation or in community courts? The chapter then outlines some general considerations as to the principles and strategies that should be followed by third parties who seek to support such institutions and instruments. Arguing for a long-term approach, the final section summarises some issues for further debate, pointing to some problematic assumptions and developments that have so far gone hand in hand with the current enthusiasm for international criminal law and truth commissions.
The United States has consistently failed to deal with the breakdown in public order that invariably confronts peace and stability operations in internal conflicts. Analysis of experience in Panama, Somalia, Haiti, the Balkans and Iraq demonstrates that indigenous police forces are typically incapable of providing law and order in the immediate aftermath of conflict, and so international forces must fill the gap – a task the US military has been unwilling and unprepared to assume. After 20 years of lessons learned (and not learned), this article argues that the United States must develop a civilian ‘stability force’ of constabulary and police personnel deployable at the outset of on operation to restore public order and lay the foundations for the rule of law.
The general aim of the paper is to examine conclusions stemming from empirical research and contribute to the studies on the possibility of ethnic conflict prevention. The analysis has the following goals: a) Exploration of case study related to the situation of the Hungarian minority in Romania since the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu and the 1990 confrontation to the results of 2000 elections and their aftermath. b) Discussion on practical lessons for ethnic conflict prevention that could be drawn from the case after ten years of developments. c) Formulation of initial conclusions concerning the relevance of the Romanian experience for a model of ethnic conflict dynamics.
Peacekeeping has been a significant part of Australia’s overseas military engagement since the end of the Second World War. Yet it is a part of the country’s history that has been largely neglected until the 1990s, and even since then interest has been slow to develop. In the last sixty years, between 30,000 and 40,000 Australian military personnel and police have served in more than 50 peacekeeping missions in at least 27 different conflicts. This insightful, engaging and superbly-edited volume approaches Australian peacekeeping from four angles: its history, its agencies, some personal reflections, and its future. Contributors discuss the distinction between peacekeeping and war-fighting, the importance of peacekeeping in terms of public policy, the problems of multinational command, and the specialist contributions of the military, civilian police, mine-clearers, weapons inspectors and diplomats.
Internationally, there is a current rising demand for police to participate in complex peace operations. Achieving multilateral â€˜integrated missionsâ€™ has become a key objective for these operations. One of the key requirements for such operations is interoperability between police drawn from different countries. Australia has had police serve in multilateral and other kinds of missions in Timor-Leste since 1999. In this article, we draw on interviews with 64 Australian police officers who participated in different missions in Timor-Leste. Integrating the insights from cultural analysis, the paper explores the specific challenges of bringing together police from different nations to work effectively within these operations.
Fukuyama brings together esteemed academics, political analysts, and practitioners to reflect on the U.S. experience with nation-building, from its historical underpinnings to its modern-day consequences. The United States has sought on repeated occasions to reconstruct states damaged by conflict, from Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War to Japan and Germany after World War II, to the ongoing rebuilding of Iraq. Despite this rich experience, there has been remarkably little systematic effort to learn lessons on how outside powers can assist in the building of strong and self-sufficient states in post-conflict situations. The contributors dissect mistakes, false starts, and lessons learned from the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq within the broader context of reconstruction efforts in other parts of the world, including Latin America, Japan, and the Balkans. Examining the contrasting models in Afghanistan and Iraq, they highlight the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as a cautionary example of inadequate planning.
This article discusses the attempts at state-building by international actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It uses this experience to discuss some of the obstacles and dilemmas facing external state-builders. I argue that attempts at state-building by foreign actors in the DRC have not had much success, and point out four reasons. First, insufficient resources have been provided. Second, donors have used a standardized approach that does not take local context sufficiently into account. Third, domestic power relations have been such that state-building has not served the interests of key actors. Finally, the policy has been based on a fixed, non-negotiable conception of what the state eventually should look like. Although all these factors have contributed to the failure to create a liberal state in the DRC, the last two appear to be more fundamental than the first and the second.
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.
Keeping the Peace explores the new multidimensional role that the United Nations has played in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding over the last few years. By examining the paradigm-setting cases of Cambodia and El Salvador, and drawing lessons from these UN ‘success stories’, the book seeks to point the way toward more effective ways for the international community to address conflict in the post-Cold War era. This book is especially timely given its focus on the heretofore amorphous middle ground between traditional peacekeeping and peace. It provides the first comparative, in-depth treatment of substantial UN activities in everything from the demobilization and reintegration of forces, the return of refugees, the monitoring of human rights, and the design and supervision of constitutional, judicial, and electoral reforms, to the observation and even organization and conduct of elections, and the coordination of support for economic rehabilitation and reconstruction of countries torn by war.
This article examines the role of development co-operation in the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone. British military intervention, sanctions against Liberia for supporting the rebellion and the deployment of UN peacekeepers were key, albeit belated, initiatives that helped resolve the conflict. The lessons are that, first, domestic forces alone may be incapable of resolving large-scale violent conflicts in Africa. Second, conflict tends to spread from one country to another, calling for strong regional conflict resolution mechanisms and deeper regional integration to promote peace. Third, donor policies need to address the root causes of state fragility, especially the political and security dimensions, which they tend to ignore. Fourth, a critical analysis is required to determine circumstances in which elections could undermine peace: the conduct of donor-supported elections under an unpopular military government in Sierra Leone culminated in an escalation of the conflict. Finally, a united international community is crucial to resolve a complex conflict and it should be accompanied by strong and timely measures informed by a full understanding of local conditions.
This paper examines the experience of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), specifically, its Post-Conflict Assessment Unit (PCAU), as an instrument of post-conflict environmental peacemaking. The ecological challenges facing war-torn societies can be as daunting as the social ones, as people struggle to provide themselves with clean water, sanitation, food and energy supplies in settings marked by toxification, the destruction of infrastructure, the loss of livelihoods, and the disruption of local institutions. Over time, these immediate environmental difficulties evolve into more diffuse but equally important challenges: establishing systems of environmental governance, creating the requisite administrative and institutional capacity, and finding sustainable trajectories for economic reconstruction and development. If handled effectively, environmental challenges may create a solid foundation for peace and sustainable development; if handled poorly, they risk undercutting the already tenuous peace that typically marks such situations. The paper identifies common patterns across several recent cases in which UNEP/PCAU has been active. Particular attention is paid to UNEP’s impact, or lack thereof, with regard to four core themes: (1) the problem of reconstituting government; (2) monitoring and assessment challenges in militarized environments; (3) linking environmental assistance and humanitarian aid; and (4) moving from environmental clean-up to planning and administration.
Post-conflict governments and donors prioritize rebuilding the justice sector through state delivered rule of law and access to justice programmes. Misunderstanding the nature of the post-colonial state, such programmes make questionable assumptions. First, that a lack of access to state justice is the same as an overall absence of justice. Second, that the state system that is being built is what people want. Third, that the state system of justice that is being built could provide a sustainable nationwide network in the foreseeable future. Based on interviews conducted with policy designers, practitioners, local people and chiefs at three sites in southern Sudan 2007, this article calls for a rethinking of donor-supported justice and police development and advocates an approach that recognizes the importance of local justice.
Why do international peacebuilders fail to address the local causes of peace process failures? The existing explanations of peacebuilding failures, which focus on constraints and vested interests, do not explain the international neglect of local conflict. In this article, I show how discursive frames shape international intervention and preclude international action on local violence. Drawing on more than 330 interviews, multi-sited ethnography, and document analysis, I develop a case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s transition from war to peace and democracy (2003-2006) I demonstrate that local agendas played a decisive role in sustaining local, national, and regional violence. However, a postconflict peacebuilding frame shaped the international understanding of violence and intervention in such a way that local conflict resolution appeared irrelevant and illegitimate. This frame included four key elements: international actors labeled the Congo a “postconflict” situation; they believed that violence there was innate and therefore acceptable even in peacetime; they conceptualized international intervention as exclusively concerned with the national and international realms; and they saw holding elections, as opposed to local conflict resolution, as a workable, appropriate, and effective tool for state- and peacebuilding. This frame authorized and justified specific practices and policies while precluding others, notably local conflict resolution, ultimately dooming the peacebuilding efforts. In conclusion, I contend that analyzing discursive frames is a fruitful approach to the puzzle of international peacebuilding failures beyond the Congo.
In the practice of conflict transformation, the military, as the perceived perpetrator in most armed conflicts, is almost always excluded. This paper attempts to explore the advantages of integrating armed forces in the process of conflict transformation through the description of the different approaches in engaging the military in peacebuilding, including the use of various instruments that are appropriate and effective with this particular target group. An experiment of this kind conducted in southern Philippines has shown the positive results of this approach in the cessation of hostilities in its 40-year civil strife between the Muslim insurgents and the Christian government, with a direct impact on the behavior and attitudes of the conflict actors both on intrapersonal and interpersonal levels. Finally, this paper analyzes the future challenges of converting capacities of war, such as the military, into capacities for peace within the context of the peace process.
The illicit business side of armed conflict can involve clandestine exports to fund combatants, reselling looted goods on the black market, smuggling weapons and other supplies, sanctions evasion and embargo busting, theft and diversion of humanitarian aid, and covert ‘trading with the enemy’. How does such illicit business affect peace operations in conflict zones, and how do such peace operations, in turn, affect illicit business? This article provides a preliminary answer in the case of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Instead of reinforcing the common tendency simply to ignore or condemn the illicit business side of conflict and its relationship to peace operations, it stresses the more ambiguous and double-edged nature of the issue. Peace operations in Bosnia contributed to illicit business activities, but in some respects illicit business also contributed to a number of peace operation goals, including helping to sustain the civilian population and even bringing an end to the conflict. The end result was actually more of a symbiotic rather than exclusively predatory relationship between peace operations and illicit business activities.
In the pages that follow, we shall address these questions regarding the impacts of agencies that work in or on conflict. We shall begin, in Sections II and III, by describing two collaborative efforts undertaken by agencies to learn more about their impacts on conflict within the societies where they work. The first, the Local Capacities for Peace Project (LCCP), involves a number of humanitarian and development assistance agencies seeking to understand how their efforts to save lives, alleviate suffering and support indigenous development interact with, and in some cases reinforce, inter-group conflicts in areas where they provide aid. The second project, Reflecting on Peace Practice (RPP), involves a number of agencies that specifically work on conflict; that is, those agencies that undertake inter-group mediation, reconciliation, peace education, conflict management, conflict transformation and other approaches to reducing the dangers of conflict. In these sections we describe the background, approaches and outcomes of these two projects. In Section IV, we turn to a review of what has been learned through LCCP about how to assess the impacts of humanitarian and development programmes on conflict and, in Section V, we present the findings about how to assess outcomes of efforts intended to reduce conflict and build peace. Finally, in Section VI, we discuss the similarities and differences in assessment techniques required, depending on whether one is working in conflict or on conflict.
After the ceasefire, a group of architects and planners from the American University of Beirut formed the Reconstruction Unit to help in the recovery process and in rebuilding the lives of those affected by the 2006 war in Lebanon. Here, a series of case studies documenting the work of the Unit discusses the lessons to be learned from the experiences of Lebanon after the July War, and suggests how those lessons might be applied elsewhere. The cases are diverse in terms of scale, type of intervention, methods, and approaches to the situation on the ground. Critical issues such as community participation, heritage protection, damage assessment and compensation policies, the role of the state, and capacity building are explored and the success and failures assessed.