The scale and ferocity of post-war violence regularly confounds the expectations of security and development specialists. When left unchecked, mutating violence can tip ‘fragile’ societies back into all out warfare. In the context of formal peace support operations, conventional security promotion efforts are routinely advanced to prevent this from happening. These include disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and wider security system/sector reform (SSR). There are also lesser known but no less important interventions to promote security that deviate from-but also potentially reinforce and enhance-DDR and SSR. Faced with dynamic post-war contexts, erstwhile warring parties, peace mediators and practitioners have crafted a host of innovative and experimental security promotion initiatives designed to mitigate risks and symptoms of post-war violence including interim stabilisation measures and second generation DDR. Drawing on a growing evidence base, the article sets out a host of contextual determinants that shape the character and effectiveness of security promotion on the ground. It then issues a typology of emergent practices-some that occur before, during and after DDR and SSR interventions. Taken together, they offer a fascinating new research agenda for those preoccupied with post-war security promotion.
Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes
UN Integrated Peacekeeping Operations and NGOs: Reflections on Governmental Rationalities and Contestation in the Age of Risk
In the first decade of the new millennium, with the adoption at the UN of the ‘responsibility to protect’ as the organizing concept for intervention, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerge as increasingly important partners in international peacekeeping operations. Postmodernist analysts of liberal international security have critically addressed the growing role of international interventionism as well as NGOs. The literature, however, has overstated the effectiveness of liberal biopolitical rationalities in successfully inscribing all political actors, to include NGOs, into their script. Based upon the exploration of discourses of UN reform and integrated peacekeeping, this article argues that, while in the post-Cold-War world international security is reconceptualized in biopolitical terms and calculating rationalities are deployed, the implementation of the biopolitical liberal script is ridden with ambiguities, indecisions and stumbling blocks. International liberal mechanisms for governing disorder produce not only effects of domination and control but also spaces for political appropriation and contestation by NGOs and civil society.
Capacity-building or Capacity-taking? Legitimizing Concepts in Peace and Development Operations
This article critically analyses capacity-building and local ownership in the context of UN peace operations through interviews with UN staff and NGO representatives in Liberia and Burundi. The argument is that these concepts are left ambiguous and undefined to avoid accountability for peace operations while still functioning as value-adding and legitimizing discursive instruments for the latter. This article proves that the many paradoxes and contradictions surrounding the concepts clearly deter their operation in practice, while their positive connotations remain important, discursively, as legitimizing tools.
A Tale of Two Types: Rebel Goals and the Onset of Civil Wars
Previous research has implicitly assumed that civil wars represent a coherent category of events, but given the variety of rebel goals that supposition seems tenuous. We split civil wars into those where the rebels simply want to remove the government (replacement) from those where the rebels want to alter the relationship between the state and society (legitimacy). Theoretically, states are most at risk for a civil war of replacement when they extract substantial wealth from society and the government is weak. In contrast, civil wars of legitimacy are more likely to occur in states where the rebels have both grievances and a means to maintain their future viability. An empirical analysis of civil wars of replacement and legitimacy from 1960 to 1999 confirms both our argument about the different types of civil violence and their differing causes.
Trends and Causes of Armed Conflict
From the start of 1990 to the end of 1999 there were 118 armed conflicts world wide, involving 80 states and two para-state regions and resulting in the death of approximately six million people. If we seek to prevent conflict from escalating into armed warfare, or, failing that, to at least achieve an end to fighting as soon as possible, and if we want to maximise the opportunity for avoiding the return of the war after apparent settlement, we must first be sure that we properly understand armed conflicts and their causes. This chapter attempts to provide a brief overview of what is known and understood about the causes of armed conflict. The theoretical basis of that knowledge is both limited and important. It is limited, in that it does not offer much by way of general explanation of the phenomenon of armed conflict; this is, perhaps, hardly surprising, given its complexity and diversity. It is also important because it provides valuable guidance as to where to look when analysing individual conflicts for signs of potential escalation and when seeking opportunities for preventing violent escalation. The chapter begins by discussing the incidence and nature of armed conflicts during the 1990s. It then reviews the current state of theoretical knowledge with the aim of providing not only an overview but also a source of further reference, before proceeding to methodology. The article then identifies the paired concepts of justice and mobilisation as the best way to link different types and levels of causes, to connect the short-term with the long-term and to relate the socio-economic background with the political foreground. It illustrates this by looking more closely at the category referred to as ethnic conflict.
Principal-Agent Problems in Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Hazards, Adverse Selection, and the Commitment Dilemma
A number of recent studies have concluded that humanitarian intervention can produce unintended consequences that reduce or completely undermine conflict management efforts. Some analysts have argued that the incentive structure produced by third parties is a form of moral hazard. This paper evaluates the utility of moral hazard theory and a second type of principal-agent problem known as adverse selection. Whereas moral hazards occur when an insured party has an opportunity to take hidden action once a contract is in effect, adverse selection is the result of asymmetric information prior to entering into a contract. Failing to distinguish between these two types of principal-agent problems may lead to policy advice that is irrelevant or potentially harmful. Along with introducing the concept of adverse selection to the debate on humanitarian intervention, this study identifies a commitment dilemma that explains why third parties operating in weakly institutionalized environments may be unable to punish groups that take advantage of intervention.
Peacebuilding and Corruption
The article argues that questions of definition relating to corruption are central to understanding its significance and its prominence in peacekeeping contexts. Definitional issues are discussed and a definition that combines certain universal features while acknowledging the importance of local norms and rules is offered. The definition revolves around actions, decisions and processes that subvert or distort the nature of public office and the political process. The challenge for peacebuilders is to develop and enforce standards for public office that have sufficient linkage with local norms and expectations to command some support, and to do so in a context that, by definition, lacks consensus on norms and principles of legitimacy for public office. The article explores some of the strategies open to those in post-conflict contexts and argues that corruption will frequently be a rational strategy for many, creating a vicious cycle that is hard to break. The article also questions how far corruption should be the major concern of peacekeeping forces, and how the concept might be disaggregated to allow a more targeted approach – one that recognizes that attacking corruption directly may not always be the best strategy, and that sees that corruption may not always be the major priority.
Corrupting Peace? Peacebuilding and Post-conflict Corruption
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.
How and When Armed Conflicts End: Introducing the UCDP Conflict Termination Dataset
This article presents new data on the start and end dates and the means of termination for armed conflicts, 1946-2005. These data contribute to quantitative research on conflict resolution and recurrence in three important respects: the data cover both interstate and intrastate armed conflicts, the data cover low-intensity conflicts, and the data provide information on a broad range of termination outcomes. In order to disaggregate the UCDP-PRIO Armed Conflict dataset into multiple analytical units, this dataset introduces the concept of conflict episodes, defined as years of continuous use of armed force in a conflict. Using these data, general trends and patterns are presented, showing that conflicts do not exclusively end with decisive outcomes such as victory or peace agreement but more often under unclear circumstances where fighting simply ceases. This pattern is consistent across different types of conflict, as is the finding that victories are more common in conflicts with short duration. The article then examines some factors that have been found to predict civil war recurrence and explores whether using the new dataset produces similar results. This exercise offers a number of interesting new insights and finds that the determinants for civil war recurrence identified in previous research are sensitive to alternate formulations of conflict termination data. The findings suggest that intrastate conflicts are less likely to recur after government victories or after the deployment of peacekeepers. If the previous conflict is fought with rebels aiming for total control over government or if the belligerents mobilized along ethnic lines, the risk of recurrence increases. The discrepancy in findings with previous research indicates the need for further study of conflict resolution and recurrence, for which this dataset will be useful.
Beyond the absence of war: the diversity of peace in post-settlement societies
This article introduces a novel way of conceptualising variations of peace in post-war societies. The most common way of defining peace in the academic literature on war termination is to differentiate between those cases where there is a continuation or resumption of large-scale violence and those cases where violence has been terminated and peace, defined by the absence of war, has been established. Yet, a closer look at a number of countries where a peace agreement has been signed and peace is considered to prevail reveals a much more diverse picture. Beyond the absence of war, there are striking differences in terms of the character of peace that has followed. This article revisits the classical debates on peace and the notion of the Conflict Triangle as a useful theoretical construction for the study of armed conflicts. We develop a classification captured in a Peace Triangle, where post-settlement societies are categorised on the basis of three key dimensions: issues, behaviour, and attitudes. On the basis of such a differentiation, we illustrate the great diversity of peace beyond the absence of war in a number of post-settlement societies. Finally, we discuss the relationship between the different elements of the Peace Triangle, and the challenges they pose for establishing a sustainable peace, as well as the implications of this study for policy makers concerned with peacebuilding efforts.
Forms of Civil War Violence and Their Consequences for Future Public Health
Previous research concerning the relationship between conflict and public health finds that countries emerging from war face greater challenges in ensuring the well-being of their populations in comparison with states that have enjoyed political stability. This study seeks to extend this insight by considering how different civil war conflict strategies influence post-conflict public health. Drawing a distinction between deaths attributable to battle and those fatalities resulting from genocide/politicide, we find that the magnitude of genocide/politicide proves the more effective and consistent predictor of future rates of disability and death in the aftermath of civil war. The implications of this research are twofold. First, it lends support to an emerging literature suggesting that important distinctions exist between the forms of violence occurring during civil war. Second, of particular interest to policymakers, it identifies post-civil war states that have experienced the highest rates of genocide/politicide as the countries most in need of assistance in the aftermath of conflict.
Building Peace: An Inventory of UN Peace Missions Since the End of the Cold War
After a brief introduction, this contribution comprises a tabular inventory of the 69 UN peace missions since the end of the Cold War. It highlights the structural features of each mission, the background to crisis and the mission’s contributions to security, socio-economic well-being, governance, justice and reconciliation.
Methods of Third-Party Intervention
This article will focus first on the method of mediation, acknowledging its role as one of the most commonly applied and studied forms of intervention in conflicts. This will set the larger stage for a consideration of the various forms and functions of third-party intervention, some of which draw their appeal from their supplementary nature to mediation and negotiation. A rudimentary model for matching types of interventions to the stage of conflict escalation will be presented as an initial heuristic for realizing the potential complementarity of different forms of intervention. Finally, a number of issues will be identified that can affect the overall current and future usefulness of third-party intervention in addressing the multitude of destructive conflicts that regularly beset humankind.
Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: A Lexicon
Post-Conflict Peacebuilding comes at a critical time for post-conflict peacebuilding. Its rapid move towards the top of the international political agenda has been accompanied by added scrutiny, as the international community seeks to meet the multi-dimensional challenges of building a just and sustainable peace in societies ravaged by war. Beyond the strictly operational dimension, there is considerable ambiguity in the concepts and terminology used to discuss post-conflict peacebuilding. This ambiguity undermines efforts to agree on common understandings of how peace can be most effectively ‘built’, thereby impeding swift, coherent action. Accordingly, this lexicon aims to clarify and illuminate the multiple facets of post-conflict peacebuilding, by presenting its major themes and trends from an analytical perspective. To this end, the book opens with a general introduction on the concept of post-conflict peacebuilding, followed by twenty-six essays on its key elements (including capacity-building, conflict transformation, reconciliation, recovery, rule of law, security sector reform, and transitional justice). Written by international experts from a range of disciplines, including political science and international relations, international law, economics, and sociology, these essays cover the whole spectrum of post-conflict peacebuilding. In reflecting a diversity of perspectives the lexicon sheds light on many different challenges associated with post-conflict peacebuilding. For each key concept a generic definition is proposed, which is then expanded through discussion of three main areas: the meaning and origin of the concept; its content and essential components; and its means of implementation, including lessons learned from past practice.