This is a conference report. In May 2000, 25 representatives of Southeast European non-governmental organizations met in Romania to discuss the impact the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe has on the region’s civil society and the potential for cross-border activities. This four-day meeting was organized by the Foundation for Democratic Change (Bucharest), and the Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management (Berlin) and took place in the picturesque mountains of Sinaia (Carpathian Mountains). During several working sessions held in a creative atmosphere the participants developed a list of recommendations concerning the support of civil society in the region.
State-building has been seen as the path to both security and development in East Timor. State-building, however, has been approached as an exercise in the transfer of key liberal institutions, with relatively little attention paid by either relevant international agencies or the East Timorese government to situating these institutions within a social context. In particular, there has been little effort on the part of central institutions to engage with local, community and customary governance. Building a state in which people do not feel at home and where they do not speak the language of governance threatens to marginalise the majority of the population and is not a recipe for nationhood, democracy or security. Nation-building, by contrast, could suggest a renewed emphasis on the vital connection between central government and people, in which legitimacy is embedded and active citizenship is possible. Thus conceived, nation-building requires processes of communication and exchange that effectively include rural people, their values, practices and concerns, as a nation of citizens requires some shared language and institutions of political community.
Every conflict generates risks to human health and to the environment. The post-conflict situation in Iraq compounds a range of chronic environmental issues, and presents immediate challenges in the fields of humanitarian assistance, reconstruction and administration.
Now that major military combat operations have ended, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is addressing post-conflict risks to the environment and to human health, and promoting long-term environmental management. Timeliness is paramount. Lessons learned from earlier conflicts show that the immediate environmental consequences must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid a further deterioration of humanitarian and environmental conditions. For this reason, UNEP, as a part of the wider UN family, integrated its post-conflict activities into the UN Humanitarian Flash Appeal launch on 28 March 2003.
Earlier UNEP post-conflict studies also demonstrate that the environment can have major implications for human livelihoods and for sustainable economic development. As such, environmental issues must be integrated across all sectors in post-conflict situations. Following
this most recent conflict, Iraqi citizens may have fears about environmental threats from military activities, such as air pollution, drinking water contamination, and the presence of hazardous substances, including heavy metals and depleted uranium. Objective and reliable information will help set aside such fears where the risk is minimal, and will help to target measurement and clean up activities in areas where the risk is higher. For these reasons, and based on this study and the information currently emerging from Iraq, UNEP is recommending that field research and analysis be carried out in Iraq at the earliest possible time. The approach of this Desk Study is environmental and technical. The intent is not to attach blame for various environmental problems. Rather, it is to provide an overview of chronic and war-related environmental issues, and to identify the steps needed to safeguard the environment. Top priorities include environmental issues that have a direct link with easing the humanitarian situation, especially the restoration of water, power, sanitation networks and ensuring food security.
I am delighted to present this report on the assessment of contaminated sites in Iraq. This pioneering work has been conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Environment and its professional experts under the guidance and supervision of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The project is part of a series of capacity building activities being undertaken by UNEP, with support from the Government of Japan through the UN Iraq Trust Fund. While UNEP has been undertaking post-conflict environmental assessments since 1999, the situation in Iraq posed some unique challenges. Initial field visits by the UNEP team indicated the need to urgently assess the level of contamination at a number of industrial sites. However, the security situation did not permit UN staff to work inside the country.
UNEP therefore developed a specific approach to assess the contaminated sites using a team of Iraqi experts from various Ministries that were selected and trained by UNEP experts to undertake the work. The data gathered inside Iraq was supplemented with satellite imagery,
and samples were analysed in international laboratories. All of the field work was documented in great detail using global positioning systems and digital cameras. The outcomes of the work highlight a number of important findings and lessons. First and foremost, the report demonstrates that while there are contaminated sites in Iraq, the environmental risks are still very localised and the opportunity exists to initiate immediate clean-up before public health is threatened. Urgent action should be taken as soon as possible to contain the large quantities of toxic chemicals lying unattended and unguarded. In this regard, I am extremely pleased that the findings of this project have resulted in UNEP being awarded additional financial resources by the UN Iraq Trust Fund to initiate clean-up activities. Throughout this work, UNEP has also learned that an approach based on remote supervision, modern communications equipment and remote sensing can produce very useful results even in conditions where the United Nations cannot be present on the ground. This vastly expands the operating envelope for future UNEP interventions in other parts of the world.
This divide between the conflict transformation community and the corporate community is remarkable as there is significant overlap between business interests to establish a stable and peaceful working environment and the peace and conflict transformation agenda. So why is it that, generally speaking, companies and conflict transformation advocates have difficulties hearing each other within this debate? Exploring the answers to this question is the starting point of this article. From there, it is necessary to gain an understanding of how companies view conflict transformation, what leverage companies have in relation to their project cycle, what types of conflict transformation activities companies are currently engaged in, and what will be expected from them in the future. Once this is done, it is then possible to discuss some options that are available to both companies and conflict transformation advocates to increase their engagement and become more strategic in working together in areas of mutual interests and joint concern.
There is a dearth of information and user-friendly guidance available to staff in the human resources development focal unit to bridge the short-term gap between the point from which they start work in the immediate post-conflict period and the point at which they enter the long-term development phase, when they can use the excellent existing frameworks and tools that already exist. This document is an attempt to provide some information and guidance for use in the short-term post-conflict phase. It is important for such guidance to draw on examples and lessons learnt (both successful and unsuccessful) from a variety of countries and regions. The examples in this guide are based mainly on three post-conflict countries. In the immediate post-conflict period, members of interim administrations tend to reject the advice of aid workers who liken the situation to that in some other post-conflict country of which they have previous experience. Therefore, guidance on different aspects of human resources development also needs to include general and non-directive information that outlines questions and issues to address. General guidance linked to examples and lessons learnt will provide a basis on which de facto health authorities and donors can start to discuss short-term strategies to ensure that short-term interventions in human resources development ultimately contribute to a well-structured and equitable foundation for human resources development. This in turn can contribute to more effective use of short-term financing and to reducing waste that arises because outcomes are inadequate.
Values are preferred events, “goods” we cherish; and the value of respect, “conceived as the reciprocal honoring of freedom of choice about participation in value processes,” is “the core value of human rights.” In a world of diverse cultural traditions that is simultaneously distinguished by the widespread universalist claim that “human rights extend in theory to every person on earth without discriminations irrelevant to merit,” the question thus unavoidably arises: when, in human rights decision-making, are cultural differences to be respected and when are they not? The question arises early in the nation-building enterprise where demands to preserve cultural traditions clash with demands to adhere to universal (and largely external) human rights standards.
Today, the U.S. Army is decisively engaged in both fighting an unfamiliar type of war and transforming itself to meet the challenges of future warfare. But what are those challenges? What capabilities does U.S. strategy demand of its military instrument? Where are the major capability gaps and how should they inform Army Transformation to ensure the future expeditionary Army has the right campaign qualities? The author argues that the major capability gap in today’s force–and vital for future campaigns–is the ability to conduct stabilization. He explores the changes in U.S. strategy that are the impetus behind the need for greater capacity to conduct post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. Then he analyzes the emerging role of the Army in post-conflict operations in the context of modern combat to more fully understand the specific requirements of stabilization. He then develops an operational concept–progressive stabilization–that complements the Army’s concept of rapid decisive operations, while improving its ability to contribute to long-term conflict resolution. He outlines three key force attributes an expeditionary force structure must have to provide the requisite mix of combat and stabilization capabilities. Finally, he builds on those attributes to suggest three areas where Army leaders must make near-term adjustments in the Modular Force to ensure the nation has a truly expeditionary force with the campaign capacity for both rapid decisive operations and stabilization.
One of the most pressing issues in the post-conflict reconstruction field is how to prioritize and sequence political, social, and economic policies to enable post-conflict countries to sustain peace and reduce the risk of violence re-occurring. Analyzing three cases of post-conflict reconstruction (Cambodia, Mozambique, and Haiti) and expert opinions of 30 academicians and practitioners, this study identifies major reconstruction policies, outlines the preferred way to prioritize and sequence them, and develops a framework to help policymakers better navigate the complexities and challenges of forming appropriate policies.
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.
Following years of authoritarian rule and economic sanctions, the United States and the international community agreed in the spring of 2003 that efforts should be made to rehabilitate economic infrastructure and introduce representative government to post-war Iraq, among other objectives. To meet these ends, a large-scale assistance program has been undertaken by the United States in Iraq. This program, funded through a mix of appropriations accounts, is undergoing increased scrutiny in the 110th Congress. This report describes recent developments in this assistance effort and key issues of potential interest to Congress.
This book was commissioned by the Canadian military to help senior officers better understand the development dimension of peace and security missions in fragile post-conflict states. It also helps development practitioners better understand their military colleagues in these challenging missions. While it draws mainly from experience in Afghanistan, it has wider application: USAID project staff in Iraq say it is very helpful and “eerily accurate” in describing issues they encounter in their work.
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.
How, and by what means, is peace constituted? In the first two decades of the twentieth century, a leading pacifist, Alfred H. Fried, set this fundamental question at the heart of the pacifist programme. Causal pacifism was the key term. The doctrine of causal or cause/effect pacifism is therefore rooted in an attempt to think systematically about the prerequisites and conditions for peace. Irrespective of whether or not this specific term was used by individual authors, causal pacifism was a key academic and practical issue in the classical pacifism debate. It is one of the great tragedies of the twentieth century that this concept declined in popularity among pacifist movements and finally became a non-issue. In a twentieth century marked by violence, war, genocide and mutual threats of destruction within the framework of deterrence, antimilitarism – for quite understandable reasons – came to dominate the pacifist agenda and shape its thinking and action. In short, causal pacifism and comparable approaches could therefore also be described as ‘constructive pacifism’ – a pacifism that is geared to the construction and architecture of peace.
Following the four-year Bonn Agreement implementation period, from December 2001 to December 2005, the London Conference on Afghanistan was convened, 31 January – 1 February, to reaffirm the commitment of world leaders to the next phase of statebuilding and reform in Afghanistan. The central document of this gathering, the Afghanistan Compact, sets forth a number of time-bound benchmarks for the next five years in the areas of security, governance and development. This article examines key aspects of the compact and what will be required for the government of Afghanistan to meet the various targets, along with the support of the international community. Policy recommendations are further advanced to facilitate reconstruction efforts and to sustain a sufficient level of international engagement to avert failure in Afghanistan.
This chapter explores the relationship between the political framework of conflict regulation and journalism. Second, it specifies what it sees as the determining factors within the media system. Third, it attempts to evaluate the efforts of external actors such as international and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support the transformation of conflicts. It indicates the limits of external intervention, including coercive measures. Finally, some conclusions on the potential role of the media are drawn and some recommendations proposed for improving the performance of the media in situations of tension and conflict.
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.
Promoting security, good governance and recovery in weak, failing and war-torn countries requires integrated approaches. In response, many donors are adopting strategies that bring together their diplomatic, defense, and development instruments. This book examines how these trends are playing out in seven leading donor countries, candidly addressing the shortcomings in recent efforts to achieve joined-up responses in fragile states.
This essay examines the transitional periods following peace agreements and leading to elections and new constitutions. It discusses the advantages of gradually expanding political participation during these periods, despite the arguments of several scholars that political liberalization in the absence of strong state institutions carries significant risks. The article argues that political participation in transitional periods may be expanded through inclusive elite consultations on issues such as elections, vetting of institutions and new constitutions, and through wider national dialogue efforts including civil society. The essay recognizes the risks of premature elections, but argues that the goal of reforming state institutions cannot be achieved in the absence of a national political process. This argument relies on the insights of the constitution-making literature, namely that lasting institutions tend to result from lengthy and inclusive constitution-making processes. It also relies on the civil war settlement literature according to which belligerents need credible guarantees that their interests will be protected in the post-agreement period before laying down their arms. The essay argues that guaranteed inclusion in the transitional process and influence over the outcome of the transition offers such assurances to former belligerents that their interests will be respected in the new political reality.
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.
Public health problems in armed conflicts have been well documented, however, effective national health policies and international assistance strategies in transition periods from conflict to peace have not been well established. After the long lasted conflicts in Sri Lanka, the Government and the rebel LTTE signed a cease-fire agreement in February 2002. As the peace negotiation has been disrupted since April 2003, a long-term prospect for peace is yet uncertain at present. The objective of this research is to detect unmet needs in health services in Northern Province in Sri Lanka, and to recommend fair and effective health strategies for post-conflict reconstruction. First, we compared a 20-year trend of health services and health status between the post-conflict Northern Province and other areas not directly affected by conflict in Sri Lanka by analyzing data published by Sri Lankan government and other agencies. Then, we conducted open-ended self-administered questionnaires to health care providers and inhabitants in Northern Province, and key informant interviews in Northern Province and other areas. The major health problems in Northern Province were high maternal mortality, significant shortage of human resources for health (HRH), and inadequate water and sanitation systems. Poor access to health facilities, lack of basic health knowledge, insufficient health awareness programs for inhabitants, and mental health problems among communities were pointed by the questionnaire respondents. Shortage of HRH and people’s negligence for health were perceived as the major obstacles to improving the current health situation in Northern Province. The key informant interviews revealed that Sri Lankan HRH outside Northern Province had only limited information about the health issues in Northern Province. It is required to develop and allocate HRH strategically for the effective reconstruction of health service systems in Northern Province. The empowerment of inhabitants and communities through health awareness programs and the development of a systematic mental health strategy at the state level are also important. It is necessary to provide with the objective information of gaps in health indicators by region for promoting mutual understanding between Tamil and Sinhalese. International assistance should be provided not only for the post-conflict area but also for other underprivileged areas to avoid unnecessary grievance.
Despite considerable effort and large sums of money spent over five years of police reform in Afghanistan, the investment has yet to yield significant results. Among the reasons outlined in this article are the failure to distinguish clearly between the different roles of the police and the military in contributing to security sector reform; a lack of strategic vision and effective planning; and a failure to capitalize on the insights, best practices and lessons learned from the last 30 years of police reform in the West. Finally, recommendations are made for remedying current problems and re-directing reform to achieve greater effectiveness.
The police service of East Timor, Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL), was formally established on 10 August 2001 by UNTAET Regulation 2001/22. It was initially know as East Timor Police Service (ETPS), later this was changed to Timor- Leste Police Service (TLPS), it is now referred to as PNTL, which is what will be used throughout this paper. The creation of the police service came about as a result of Indonesia?s withdrawal from East Timor in 1999, after 24 years of occupation after a ballot where 78.5% voted for independence. Up until that time East Timor had been policed by a foreign state. It had never had its own separate police force.
This report describes how the Iraq war and its aftermath continue to have a disastrous impact on the physical and mental health of the Iraqi people, and the urgent measures needed to improve health and health services. It focuses on the many failures of the occupying forces and their governments to protect health, or to facilitate the rebuilding of a health system based on primary health care principles. It assesses the current state of the health system, including the impact of insecurity, and the workforce, supplies, medicines and equipment it lacks. It also looks at health information and health policy. There is a special focus on mental health care, a particularly neglected area. The report ends with conclusions and recommendations, exploring what needs to happen now in Iraq and what lessons can be learned.
At the outset of the twenty-first century, the rule of law is no longer a concept exclusively, or even primarily, defined and debated by political philosophers and constitutional lawyers, as had been the case in centuries past. Over the last decade in particular, the rule of law has become “the motherhood and apple pie of development economics.” Western democracies, their regional organizations, NGOs, and the multilateral development agencies they control, now pour billions of dollars and euros into projects designed to measure the rule of law, create it where it does not exist – in closed dictatorships, failed states, and post-conflict zones – and to strengthen it in transitional and struggling democracies around the globe. Institutionalists of different hews have come to see it as central to modern statehood, impartial economic exchange, and objective justice. Democracy scholars are pointing to it as the essential, non-electoral dimension of democratic substance. Together with human rights and democracy, the rule of law is now upheld by liberal internationalists as a central pillar in the “virtuous trilogy” upon which a legitimate international order rests, while international security experts have come to see it as indispensable to ending civil wars, building durable peace, and fighting insurgencies, transnational crime, and terrorism. Against this background – of “a venerable part of Western political philosophy” having turned into “a rising imperative of the era of globalization,” as Carothers put it – existing mainstream legal discourses about the rule of law and its promotion abroad run the risk of being outpaced, even sidelined into relative obsolescence. The fact that intellectual and policy involvement with the notion of the rule of law are no longer the exclusive purview of lawyers need not be lamented; indeed, it is to be generally welcomed. Rather, this article argues, to be of genuine relevance to one of the foremost challenges the free world is facing and is likely to face for many decades to come – the challenge of fostering self-sustaining, well-governed free societies in parts of the world where these are absent or weak – lawyers must overcome three main “problems of scope” that presently afflict the rule of law literature and policy enterprise.
A significant number of countries worldwide are described as entering a phase of `post’-conflict transition. Drawing on the experience of the health sector, this paper argues that the nature of the rehabilitation task is often misunderstood. In particular, it is often equated with reconstruction of war-damaged infrastructure and assets. Such an approach derives from a misconception of the origins and nature of contemporary warfare. It also serves to reinforce a linear approach to the transition from relief to development. This paper attempts to redefine the rehabilitation task in situations of `post’-conflict transition, drawing on examples from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Uganda. It argues that the direct effects of military action on the social sector are less significant than the indirect effects of political, economic and social changes which both underlie and are precipitated by conflict. Therefore, rehabilitation needs to go beyond reconstruction and tackle the root causes of instability. Such a reinterpretation of the rehabilitation task raises a number of dilemmas, particularly for international actors concerned to contribute to a sustainable peace. These dilemmas are rooted in both the uncertainty about the legitimacy of incoming governments in transitional situations, and in the organisation of the aid system itself. The paper concludes that confronting these dilemmas implies a fundamental change in the orientation and delivery of aid in `post’-conflict situations.
If the West loses in Afghanistan and its region, the most important reason will be that we are pursuing several different goals simultaneously, most of which are in contradiction to the others. Western governments need to choose between these goals, and co-ordinate a strategy in pursuit of the most desirable and achievable ones. The creation of a democratic Afghanistan needs to be recognised as a hopeless fantasy. Instead, the West should imitate the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and concentrate on creating an effective military force that can survive Western withdrawal and continue to fight the Taleban. In the meantime, something to be avoided at all costs is the further destabilisation of Pakistan, since Pakistan in the end constitutes a far greater potential threat to the region, the West and the world than does Afghanistan.
Many conflict-affected countries are among the most corrupt in the world, and corruption is frequently reported as a major concern of local populations and foreign aid agencies during transition to peace. Tackling corruption is part of liberal peacebuilding, which seeks to consolidate peace through democracy and free markets economy. Yet liberalization policies may also foster corruption. Using a preliminary analysis of selected corruption perception indicators, this article finds tenuous and divergent support for post-conflict patterns of corruption. Three main arguments linking liberal peacebuilding with higher levels of corruption are then presented for further elaboration, and a research agenda is outlined.
The idea of ‘transformation’ implies that facilitators bring an agenda to situations of conflict. What is that agenda and how is it promoted? I believe the aim should be to use conflict as a moment, or more precisely, a series of moments of rich opportunity to contribute to human development. Facilitators, a term I use to refer to peacemakers working in group and inter-group settings, meet this agenda with responses that fall into two broad categories: by assisting empowerment, that is, supporting the persons involved in conflict to more fully achieve their own potential as human beings; and by fostering ‘right relationships’, that is, relationships characterized by recognition of the other, fairness, respect, mutuality and accountability. In very simple terms, they encourage parties to pay attention to the needs of both the self and the other.
Politically, the Afghan central government is relatively stable, but it is perceived as weak and rife with corruption. The post-Taliban transition was completed with the convening of a parliament in December 2005 following September 2005 parliamentary elections. A new constitution was adopted in January 2004, and presidential elections were held on October 9, 2004. The parliament has become an arena for factions that have fought each other for nearly three decades to peacefully resolve differences, as well as a center of political pressure on President Hamid Karzai. Major regional strongmen have been marginalized. Afghan citizens are enjoying personal freedoms forbidden by the Taliban, and women are participating in economic and political life. Presidential elections are to be held in the fall of 2009, with parliamentary and provincial elections to follow one year later.
This study contains the results of research on reconstructing internal security institutions during nation-building missions. It analyzes the activities of the United States and other countries in building viable police, internal security forces, and justice structures. This study examines in detail the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, three of the most important instances in the post-Cold War era in which the United States and its allies have attempted to reconstruct security institutions. It then compares these cases with six others in the post-Cold War era: Panama, El Salvador, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and East Timor. Finally, the study draws conclusions from the case studies and analysis, and derives recommendations to help the United States and other international actors improve their performance in the delivery of post-conflict security. The results should be of interest to a broad audience of policymakers and academics concerned with the successes and shortcomings of past security efforts. Although the study is not intended to be a detailed analysis of U.S. or allied military doctrine regarding stability operations, we believe it provides a useful set of guidelines and recommendations for a wide range of military, civilian, and other practitioners.
The need for an accurate understanding of the environment into which peace- and capacity-building missions are deployed cannot be overstated. Suppositions about the mission environment inform every facet of an intervention’s design and implementation, in addition to expectations surrounding success. Yet this critical element continues to be misunderstood by those most in need of an accurate grasp, a condition which severely undermines the war to peace transition. Rather than continuing to assume that recipient states are states in the Western sense of the term, we must instead focus our energies on how best to enable sustainable peace in the hybrid political orders which do in fact constitute these troubled places. After setting out the largely unrecognised characteristics of recipient societies, the article explores alternative forms of assistance with promise to complement such realities.
This article examines the links between peace operations and combating transnational organized crime. It argues that while UN Security Council mandates direct UN missions to support establishing the rule of law in states that host peace operations, their role in addressing organized crime is more implicit than explicit. This article notes, however, that UN panels of experts, small fact-finding teams appointed to monitor targeted sanctions, may offer insight into, and options for addressing, such criminal networks. Panel findings and recommendations, however, are not integrated with related UN efforts to build the rule of law. This lack of integration reflects a need, on the part of the UN and its member states, to address better the ability of peace operations, UN panels of experts, and other tools for peacebuilding to contribute more effectively to fighting spoiler networks and organized crime.
The role of UN peacekeeping missions has expanded beyond the traditional tasks of peacekeeping to include a wide range of political, economic, and humanitarian activities. While such expansion indicates an improved understanding of the complexities and challenges of post-conflict contexts, it also raises questions about whether UN peacekeeping missions are equipped to handle peacebuilding tasks. Evidence from a study of the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone suggests they are not. This article argues that peacekeeping missions are a poor choice for peacebuilding given their limited mandates, capacity, leverage, resources and duration. Peacekeepers should focus on peacekeeping, by which they can lay the foundation for peacebuilding. Peacebuilding should be the primary task of national governments and their populations.
Prevention of conflict is the first promise in the UN Charter, and yet, local parties, governments, and international organizations constantly betray it. Preventive action is at the center of international health policy and action, is vital to environmental improvements globally, and is accepted in many human rights treaties and in efforts to reduce the number and scale of natural disasters. However, prevention is practiced poorly and piece-meal. The essays in this volume represent some of the best scholarly and policy-relevant work on the practical challenges of conflict prevention within the UN system. They review some of the recent findings regarding conflict trends and their causes with a view to better informing conflict prevention strategy and implementation undertaken by the host of UN Departments and Agencies active in this area. They also identify opportunities for making existing and nascent capacity for conflict prevention more effectively operational within the UN system at large.
The international community is eagerly promoting the concept of the rule of law in post-conflict states such as Timor-Leste in the belief that it will lead to political and social stability. To attract international legitimacy, Timorese leaders are also keen to be seen to be invoking the rule of law although the manner in which they understand and use the concept often diverges from dominant Western understandings. The concept of the rule of law assumes that the state enjoys a monopoly of law. This article examines the resonance of the rule of law at the local level in Timor-Leste in light of the fact that customary law is the type of law with which people are likely to have first and frequent contact as the state has little reach beyond the capital. It concludes by recommending that all actors promoting the rule of law in post-conflict states need to equip themselves with a strong understanding of how the population engages with legal norms in order to effectively promote the rule of law.
This article draws attention to the shortcomings of civilian peacebuilding, which donors, aid agencies and NGOs have adopted in their policies and projects in recent years. It argues that government-sponsored peacebuilding propagates a conception according to which peace can be achieved by bureaucratic means. Although peacebuilding is committed to what peace research considers positive peace, its discourses and practices tend to depoliticise peace. Hence, peacebuilding represents a top-down variant of liberal peace, the meanings, substance and causal beliefs of which are taken for granted and less and less debated among practitioners and policy-makers. Reviewing a growing body of literature that takes a critical stance towards peacebuilding, this article identifies some of the conceptual and ethical problems shared by contemporary peacebuilding activities. It calls upon policy-makers and peace researchers to pay more attention to the prescriptive and instrumentalist logic of peacebuilding and encourages academics to rejuvenate a critical peace research tradition that offers alternative and more participatory approaches to peace.
The international community has struggled without much success to remedy the problem of failed states. Meanwhile, 40 or 50 countries around the world — from Sudan and Somalia to Kosovo and East Timor — remain in a crisis of governance. In this impressive book, Ghani, a former Afghan finance minister, and Lockhart, who has worked at the World Bank and the United Nations, assess the missteps and offer a new framework for coordinated action. They argue that international responses have failed because they have been piecemeal and have proceeded with little understanding of what states need to do in the modern world system to connect citizens to global flows. They advocate a “citizen-based approach.” State-building strategies would be organized around a “double compact”: between country leaders and the international community, on the one hand, and country leaders and citizens, on the other. The book also proposes methods for the generation of comparative data on state capacity — a “sovereignty index” — to be annually reported to the UN and the World Bank. Ultimately, this study offers a surprisingly optimistic vision. The fact that so many disadvantaged countries have made dramatic economic and political transitions over the last decade suggests that developmental pathways do exist — if only the lessons and practical knowledge of local circumstances can be matched to coordinated and sustained international efforts. The authors provide a practical framework for achieving these ends, supporting their case with first-hand examples of struggling territories such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo and Nepal as well as the world’s success stories–Singapore, Ireland, and even the American South.
This book examines the role of multiethnic armies in post-conflict reconstruction, and demonstrates how they can promote peacebuilding efforts. The author challenges the assumption that multiethnic composition leads to weakness of the military, and shows how a multiethnic army is frequently the impetus for peacemaking in multiethnic societies. Three case studies (Nigeria, Lebanon and Bosnia-Herzegovina) determine that rather than external factors, it is the internal structures that make or break the military institution in a socially challenging environment. The book finds that where the political will is present, the multiethnic military can become a symbol of reconciliation and coexistence. Furthermore, it shows that the military as a professional identity can supersede ethnic considerations and thus facilitates cooperation within the armed forces despite a hostile post-conflict setting. In this, the book challenges widespread theories about ethnic identities and puts professional identities on an equal footing with them.
Increasingly, scholars studying civil conflicts believe that the pace of postconflict economic recovery is crucial to a return to peaceful politics. But why do some countries’ economies recover more quickly than others’? The authors argue that the inability of politicians to commit credibly to postconflict peace inhibits investment and, hence, slows recovery. In turn, the ability of political actors to eschew further violence credibly depends on postconflict political institutions. The authors test this framework with duration analysis of an original data set of economic recovery, with two key results. First, they find that postconflict democratization retards recovery. Second, outright military victory sets the stage for a longer peace than negotiated settlements do. This research deepens the understanding of the bases of economic recovery and conflict recidivism in postconflict countries and points to future research that can augment this knowledge further still.
This article analyses the role that the illicit narcotics economy has played in violent conflict in Afghanistan since the 1990s and the relationship between counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency policy in the country today. It details the evolution of the peacekeeping mission vis-a?-vis the narcotics economy, and the effects to date of the counter-narcotics policies that have been adopted since 2001. It argues that aggressive opium poppy eradication in Afghanistan today is premature and counterproductive with respect to counter-insurgency and stability objectives, as well as with respect to long-term economic development goals. The article concludes by providing policy recommendations on the role of peacekeeping forces with respect to illicit economies, arguing that the most important role peacekeeping forces have in tackling crime and reducing illicit economies is to provide security.
The brutal murder of 17 national staff members of Action Contre le Faim (ACF) in Sri Lanka in August 2006 and ambushes, kidnappings, and murders of aid workers elsewhere have captured headlines. This article reviews the prevailing explanations, assumptions, and research on why humanitarian actors experience security threats. The scholarly literature on humanitarian action is fecund and abundant, yet no comparative review of the research on humanitarian security and scholarly sources on humanitarian action exists to date. The central argument here is twofold. First, an epistemic gap exists between one stream that focuses primarily on documenting violence against aid workers “a proximate cause approach” while a second literature proposes explanations, or deep causes, often without corresponding empirical evidence. Moreover, the deep cause literature emphasizes external, changing global conditions to the neglect of other possible micro and internal explanations. Both of these have negative implications for our understanding of and therefore strategies to address security threats against aid workers.
Theories of jus post bellum have tended to be what I call `restricted’, in that they have focussed on the norms to govern the ending and immediate aftermath of a just war. But the goal of building a just peace, which is the ultimate aim of a just war, often places rather longer-term responsibilities on the shoulders of the victorious just, especially where occupation of the defeated unjust state is required (the scenario on which I concentrate). Given the variety of possible post-conflict situations, then, we should expect there to be various conceptions of jus post bellum, sensitive to the context-specific demands of the `just peace’ objective. This article therefore sets out the case for an `extended’ theory of jus post bellum which is likely to be required in, for example, occupation scenarios. But, having argued that `restricted’ conceptions do not fully lay out what might be reasonably expected of just occupiers, the article then contends that the `extended’ considerations may be in significant tension with another post- bellum requirement, namely, the obligation to restore sovereignty to the occupied state as soon as is reasonably feasible. Various ways of negotiating the tension are discussed and found to be wanting. Given that just war theory in general is supposed to be action-guiding, the concern is that an extended jus post bellum may be unhelpfully action-disorienting. The ostensibly strong case for it is therefore cast into some doubt and some implications for how the obligations of peacebuilding for just occupiers should theorised are considered.
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.
Security sector reform (SSR) is a concept that is highly visible within policy and practice circles and that increasingly shapes international programmes for development assistance, security co-operation and democracy promotion. This paper examines the concept and practice of SSR using theories of the state and state formation within a historical-philosophical perspective. The paper recognises that the processes of SSR are highly laudable and present great steps forward towards more holistic conceptions of security and international development. However, the main argument of the paper is that we should be careful of having too high expectations of the possibility of SSR fulfilling its ambitious goals of creating states that are both stable and democratic and accountable. Instead, we should carefully determine what level of ambition is realistic for each specific project depending on local circumstances. A further argument of this paper is that legitimate order and functioning state structures are prerequisites and preconditions for successful democratisation and accountability reforms within the security sector.
This report reflects on this productive tension between the analysis and practice strands of conflict transformation, first concentrating on themes around the theories of conflict formation and the values that guide the field (Section 2), then exploring the dilemmas of intervention faced by conflict resolution practitioners (Section 3). Section 4 summarises the discussion that followed the presentation by Berghof of the systemic approach to conflict transformation – a potential tool for linking the stages of analysis and intervention in a more dynamic way and for devising strategic priorities for both research and practice. Finally, Section 5 outlines the vision for future research at Berghof, as inspired, endorsed, and enhanced by the Seminar.
Local perceptions of aid in crisis contexts is an under-researched area. This article, which is based on extensive interviewing of affected individuals and communities in Afghanistan, sets out key issues affecting the provision of international assistance and in particular analyses the ‘perceptions gap’ between outsiders and local communities and its implications for the aid community. Humanitarian action is seen by local people as part of a ‘northern enterprise.’ Even if the universalist values of the enterprise do not clash with local views of the world, the baggage, modus operandi, technique and personal behaviour of aid workers often do. Suggestions on how this gap could be addressed are also put forward.
This article describes the slow and uneven movement towards a more professional approach to nation-building. The post-cold war era is replete with instances where the United States found itself burdened by the challenges of nation-building in the wake of a successful military operation. American performance in the conduct of such missions improved slowly through the 1990s, but this trend was not sustained into the decade beginning in 2000. The article outlines what a more professional approach to peacebuilding would require, highlighting a hierarchy of tasks that flow in the following order: security, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, democratization and development.
Preparation for nation-building requires that responsible political leaders consult both with regional and functional experts, those who know why the society in question descended into conflict and those who know from experience elsewhere how to put such societies back together. Goals must be established which transcend the most immediate and normally negative purposes of the inter vention, e.g. halting conflict, stopping genocide or turning back aggression. These positive goals must be commensurate with the scale of military manpower and economic assistance likely to be committed. The larger the social transformation envisaged, the greater the resistance likely to be encountered. The most common cause for the failure of nation-building endeavours is a mismatch between objectives and commitments.
Negotiated civil war terminations differ from their interstate war counterparts in that one side must disarm and cease to exist as a fighting entity. While termination through military victory provides a relatively more enduring peace, many civil wars end with peace agreements signed after negotiations. However, research has shown that the implementation of civil war peace agreements is difficult and prone to collapse. Often these failures are followed by recurrence of the conflict. In some cases, the agreements break down before key provisions are implemented. This article adds to this topic by focusing on the role of state capacity in peace agreement success. We argue that peace agreements and state capacity are necessary but not sufficient conditions for sustainable peace. The article employs a case study approach to explore the importance of state capacity in implementing civil war peace agreements. The role of third-party interventions is also considered. The cases (United Kingdom-Northern Ireland, Indonesia-Aceh, Burundi, Mali, and Somalia) include 14 peace agreements that vary by war type (secessionist or control over government), type of agreement (comprehensive or partial), levels of state capacity (high or low), and peace success (success, partial or failure), and each experienced third-party involvement in the peace process.
Efforts to bring peace and reconstruction to the Central African region have been fashioned by contemporary conflict resolution models that have a standard formula of peace negotiations, with a trajectory of ceasefire agreements, transitional governments, demilitarization, constitutional reform and ending with democratic elections. Local dynamics and the historical and multifaceted nature of the conflicts are rarely addressed. Furthermore, participants in the peace process are restricted to representatives of political parties, the state and rebel movements, to the exclusion of civil society. Using as examples the conflicts and peace processes in three Great Lakes countries-Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo-the paper contends that contemporary global frameworks for peacemaking and peace building that rest on the acceptance of neoliberal political and economic models cannot lay the foundations for the conditions necessary for sustainable peace. This necessitates the utilisation of a more inclusive concept of peace, the starting point of which has to be the emancipation of African humanity.
In October 2002, the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, in coordination with the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff/G-3, initiated a study to analyze how American and coalition forces can best address the requirements that will necessarily follow operational victory in a war with Iraq. The objectives of the project were to determine and analyze probable missions for military forces in a post-Saddam Iraq; examine associated challenges; and formulate strategic recommendations for transferring responsibilities to coalition partners or civilian organizations, mitigating local animosity, and facilitating overall mission accomplishment in the war against terrorism. The study has much to offer planners and executors of operations to occupy and reconstruct Iraq, but also has many insights that will apply to achieving strategic objectives in any conflict after hostilities are concluded. The current war against terrorism has highlighted the danger posed by failed and struggling states. If this nation and its coalition partners decide to undertake the mission to remove Saddam Hussein, they will also have to be prepared to dedicate considerable time, manpower, and money to the effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fighting is over. Otherwise, the success of military operations will be ephemeral, and the problems they were designed to eliminate could return or be replaced by new and more virulent difficulties.
The stabilization and reconstruction of failed states and war-torn societies has become one of the defining challenges of our era. International interventions have repeatedly been mounted in weak, disintegrating, and collapsed states that have become sources of regional disorder, transnational terror, and humanitarian calamity. Yet the process of nurturing stable, responsible governance has proven elusive. All too often, lofty and politically attractive goals have been proclaimed only to be rendered unattainable by unrealistic time frames, woefully inadequate resources, and constrained authorities. To bring strategic goals and resources into better balance, policymakers require an objective metrics system that will enable them to take stock of the magnitude of the challenges before intervening and to continuously track the progress of their efforts toward stabilization.
This conclusion reviews the Special Issue’s perspective on organized crime as both potential ‘enemy’ and ‘ally’ of peace processes. The social and economic power wielded by organized crime is highlighted, pointing to the role that peace operations play as an intervening variable between individuals/communities and the environments in which they operate. Peace operations use a range of tactics, from coercion to co-option, working with or against organized crime. However, these tactics will only be successful if they are framed within a coherent strategy, which may pursue either containment or transformation- or seek to combine them- through a phased transitional strategy. Peace operations should be a key component in a broad strategy of intelligent international law enforcement.
This article draws lessons from the experiences of international involvement in Haiti from 1990 to the present day. It argues that if the model of liberal, responsible government championed by the international community is to provide a resolution to the ongoing violence and instability in Haiti, then Haitian society will first have to be wooed away from coercive ‘protection’ by local and transnational organized crime. However, it argues that peace operations as they are currently conceived and deployed are ill-equipped for this task, given their limited territorial ambit and traditional focus on military response rather than political economy. However, the article concludes that experiences in Haiti may also offer lessons about how peace operations could win ‘protection competitions’ by serving as the leading edge of a unified international strategy for the transformation of local political economies.
This chapter is an attempt to do two things: first, to make sense of some of the economic, political and social origins and dynamics of organised violence; second, determine how conflict analysis and conflict resolution processes might enable diverse actors concerned with violent conflict at the official and unofficial levels to change the attitudes, behaviours and institutions which generate structural (indirect) and direct violence. It will begin with an acknowledgement of the centrality of structural transformation for stable peace and an analysis of some of the underlying political and economic dynamics that form the backdrop to modern conflict. It will then examine how and why conflict resolution practitioners should focus more attention on the political economy of conflict in the analysis, design and implementation of conflict intervention processes.
This article, which is grounded in qualitative interview data, takes as its starting point the contention that war crimes tribunals can aid reconciliation, and more specifically the claim made by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that its work is contributing to reconciliation in the region. Focusing on Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH), the first question that it seeks to answer is not whether the ICTY has positively impacted on reconciliation, but rather the more immediate question of whether reconciliation actually exists in BiH. Defining reconciliation as the restoration and repair of relationships and as the acknowledgement of war crimes and responsibility, it argues that there is no reconciliation in present-day BiH. There is only negative peace an absence of conflict. The second crucial question that this article explores, therefore, is whether and how this negative peace can be developed into positive peace characterized by reconciliation. Emphasizing two critical obstacles to any reconciliation process in BiH, namely insufficient contact between interethnic groups and the existence of denial and competing truths, it identifies three important measures to address these. These are the abolition of the divisive ‘two schools under one roof’ education system, the replacement of the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) with a constitutional structure that encourages interethnic contact rather than separation, and the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). On the issue of whether the ICTY can itself contribute to reconciliation in BiH, the article concludes that while retributive justice is an important mechanism in postconflict societies, the difficulties and challenges that the ICTY faces in BiH underscore the limitations of criminal trials and the imperative of a multifaceted approach to reconciliation combining different transitional justice elements.
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.
The concept of security is the driver for peacebuilding and development, as well as social and political change in post-conflict countries. A review and analysis of three key government documents indicates that, in Sierra Leone, securitisation discourse is embedded in both the political economy discourse of the state and in the popular imagination. The Security Sector Review equates security and peace while the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper sees security as a driver for change. The 2006 Work Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security illustrates the extent to which the work of ministries is security-based. Sierra Leone’s political economy of post-conflict peacebuilding favours macro-economic security that is to trickle down into social and political peace. Discourse analysis shows that, framed within security parameters, post-conflict peacebuilding is meant to have an effect of ‘trickle-down peace’ that in effect constrains transformation with the potential for facilitating conditions for a return to conflict.
In the wake of violent conflict, a key element of building a durable peace is building a state with the ability to collect and manage public resources. To implement peace accords and to provide public services, the government must be able to collect revenue, allocate resources, and manage expenditure in a manner that is regarded by its citizens as effective and equitable. In this new PERI Working Paper, Michael Carnahan of the Australian National University grapples with the impact of conflict on policy, administrative systems, and overall activity, as well as the impact of pressures from the international community. The author makes five specific recommendations, including a link between revenue collections and donor aid, a reassessment of U.N. policies, changes in tax policies for foreign workers and donors’ contractors, and establishing urban land taxation systems.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has relearned painful lessons on how to win the peace. Institutionalizing these lessons requires establishing a common national strategic concept for post-conflict operations. Post-conflict operations are among the most difficult to plan and execute, even under the best of circumstances. Expectations that post-conflict activities will be smooth, uncomplicated, frictionless, and nonviolent are unrealistic, as is the assumption that grievous policy errors or strategic misjudgments cause all difficulties. The Administration and Congress must adopt policies that ensure effective interagency operations and unity of effort. Successful post-conflict operations cannot be planned effectively in Foggy Bottom or the Pentagon. Planning and implementation must be done in theater, in concert with the military combatant commands.
The UN has developed a series of internal ‘integration reforms’ that aim to increase its capacity to integrate its post-conflict efforts through a single coherent strategy, and ultimately to support sustainable war-to-peace transitions. This article argues that these reforms could be redesigned to take into account the causes of the (dis)integration, incoherence and complexity of UN post-conflict interventions, to make them more comprehensive and more realistic. While some degree of both strategic coherence and operational integration may be necessary to improve the effectiveness of UN post-conflict interventions, these are inadequate without an increased conflict-sensitivity in each UN entity involved in post-conflict interventions. For the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts, the parts must make a significant contribution to the whole.
Countries need active, equitable and profitable private sectors if they are to graduate from conflict and from post-conflict aid-dependency. However, in the immediate aftermath of war, both domestic and international investment tends to be slower than might be hoped. Moreover, there are complex inter-linkages between economic development and conflict: in the worst case private sector activity may exacerbate the risks of conflict rather than alleviating them. This paper calls for a nuanced view of the many different kinds of private sector actor, including their approaches to risk, the ways that they interact and their various contributions to economic recovery. Policy-makers need to understand how different kinds of companies assess risk and opportunity. At the same time, business leaders should take a broader view of risk. Rather than focusing solely on commercial risks and external threats such as terrorism, they also need to take greater account of their own impacts on host societies. Meanwhile, all parties require a hard sense of realism. Skilful economic initiatives can support-but not replace-the political process.
This article analyzes the effects of household-level activity choices on farm household welfare in a developing country affected by mass violent armed conflict. The study uses household survey data from postwar Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces in Northern Mozambique capturing many activity choices, including market participation, risk and activity diversification, cotton adoption, and social exchange, as well as income-and consumption-based measures of welfare. The study advances the literature on postwar coping and rural poverty at the micro level by estimating potentially endogenous activity choices and welfare outcomes using instrumental variables. The study finds that increasing the cultivated area and on-farm activities enhances postwar welfare of smallholders exploiting wartime survival techniques. Subsistence farming reduces income but does not affect consumption, while market participation has positive welfare effects. This suggests that postwar reconstruction policies should encourage the wartime crop mix but offer enhanced marketing opportunities for such crops. Cotton adoption, which was promoted by aid agencies in the postwar period, reduces household welfare per capita by between 16% and 31%, controlling for market access. This contradicts previous studies of postwar rural development that did not control for the war-related endogeneity. Hence, addressing the potential endogeneity of activity choices is important because the standard regression approach may lead to biased estimates of the impact of activity choice on welfare, which in turn may lead to biased policy advice. The article discusses and contextualizes these findings, concluding with a discussion of suitable pro-poor reconstruction policies for national governments and donors.
International law can create great expectations in those seeking to rebuild societies that have been torn apart by conflict. For outsiders, international law can mandate or militate against intervention, bolstering or undermining the legitimacy of intervention. International legal principles promise equality, justice and human rights. Yet international law’s promises are difficult to fulfil. This volume of essays investigates the phenomenon of post-conflict state-building and the engagement of international law in this enterprise. It draws together original essays by scholars and practitioners who consider the many roles international law can play in rehabilitating societies after conflict. The essays explore troubled zones across the world, from Afghanistan to Africa’s Great Lakes region, and from Timor-Leste to the Balkans. They identify a range of possibilities for international law in tempering, regulating, legitimating or undermining efforts to rebuild post-conflict societies.
Peacebuilding supports the emergence of stable political community in states and regions struggling with a legacy of violent conflict. This then raises the question of what political community might mean in the state in question. International peacebuilding operations have answered that question in terms of the promotion of conventional state-building along the lines of the Western Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) model as the best path out of post-conflict state fragility and towards sustainable development and peace. This article argues for peacebuilding beyond notions of the liberal peace and constructions of the liberal state. Rather than thinking in terms of fragile states, it might be theoretically and practically more fruitful to think in terms of hybrid political orders, drawing on the resilience embedded in the communal life of societies within so-called fragile regions of the global South. This re-conceptualization opens new options for peacebuilding and for state formation as building political community.
The security situation in Liberia is currently quite good, and at a glance the peacebuilding process seems to be moving ahead. However, the root causes of the conflict have not been adequately addressed, but have in fact become more interlinked in the aftermath of the civil war. Instead of addressing local perceptions of insecurity the international community made plans for Liberia without considering the context in which reforms were to be implemented. The peace in post-conflict Liberia is therefore still fragile and the international presence is regarded as what secures the peace. Still, the UN is supposed to start its full withdrawal in 2010, indicating that the international community will leave the country without addressing the root causes of conflict.
Since the end of the Liberian civil war in August 2003 the international community has been “making plans” for Liberia. However, it rarely questioned whether these plans were in accordance with the political and economic logic of the peace agreement and the subsequent transitional government. The consequence was that corruption continued and a much more intrusive economic management plan was established. The Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme is supposed to combat corruption and facilitate good governance, but it also limits the range of policy options for the new democratically elected government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The irony is that the best and most legitimate government that Liberia has ever had is subject to stronger external control than any of its predecessors. The probability that this scheme will remain sustainable when donor interest shifts elsewhere is low, and what is needed is a more pragmatic approach that draws a wider segment of Liberian society into anti-corruption management and creates checks and balances between them.
This report recommends ten key actions that U.S. policymakers and the United Nations must take before the conflict starts in order to maximize potential for success in the post-conflict phase in Iraq. These recommendations draw on ongoing work by the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project, a collaborative effort between the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Association of the U.S. Army, and reflect lessons learned through first-hand experience with postconflict reconstruction efforts over the past decade.
This article examines the double standards associated with a precarious international peacebuilding strategy in Afghanistan based on impunity and half-truths rather than accountability and transitional justice. Many international organizations have turned a blind eye to past and current human rights atrocities through forms of rationalization based on an empowerment of cultural differences, relativization of progress and “policy reductionism.” Consequently, and in the absence of consistently applied rights instruments, societal divisions along gender, ethnic and other lines have intensified Afghanistan’s culture of intolerance to human rights, thereby violating the very principles the international community purports to uphold. Drawing on first-hand experiences, personal interviews and a sober analysis of trends, this article challenges some of the conventional assumptions held about the perception and knowledge of human rights among Afghans. It concludes by identifying possible areas of future study to better understand both the prospects for transitional justice and how ordinary Afghans continue to cope with widespread injustice and inequality.
Early warning is a large field with many different methodologies operating on different levels and with a wide range of issues. There are a broad variety of actors involved in these systems from grassroots projects to academics working on computer simulations. Few people would disagree with the concept of early warning: to obtain knowledge and, what is more, to use that knowledge to assist in the mitigation of conflict. In this sense, early warning is an irrefutable necessity. There is a need to actively engage in crisis prevention where the first step is the prognosis of when, why and where conflict will erupt. This is the same process as any troubleshooting: what is the problem and cause, how imminent and what can we do about it? The options that can be taken are necessarily tied to the understanding of the cause. It is, in this sense, that crisis prevention is coupled to early warning. Although related, it is different to ask whether early warning systems are essential or whether they can be successful. They are related to each other because the concepts of early warning behind their importance are in turn the criteria of success. This chapter will critically review whether early warning systems can effectively: (a) identify the causes of conflict, (b) predict the outbreak of conflict, and, what is more, (c) mitigate that conflict.
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.