While the study of the causes of civil war is a well-established subdiscipline in international relations, the effects of civil war on society remain less understood. Yet, such effects could have crucial implications for long-term stability and democracy in a country after the reaching of a peace agreement. This article contributes to the understanding of the effects of warfare on interethnic relations, notably attitudes of ethno-nationalism. Two hypotheses are tested: first, that the prevalence of ethno-nationalism is higher after than before the war, and second, that individuals who have been directly affected by the war are more nationalist than others. The variation in ethno-nationalism is examined over time, between countries, and between ethnic groups. Three countries that did not experience conflict on their own territory serve as a control group. The effect of individual war exposure is also tested in the analysis. Sources include survey data from the former Yugoslavia in 1989, shortly before the outbreak of war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 2003, some years after the violence in the region ended. Contrary to common beliefs, the study shows that ethno-nationalism does not necessarily increase with ethnic civil war. The individual war experiences are less important than expected.
Transitional justice and security sector reform are critical in post-conflict settings, particularly regarding the reform of judicial systems, intelligence services, police, correctional systems, the military, and addressing systemic massive human rights abuses committed by individuals representing these institutions. Accordingly, the relationship between security sector reform and transitional justice mechanisms, such as vetting, the representation of ethnic minorities in key institutions, the resettlement and reintegration of the former combatants deserve special attention from scholars. This article presents a comparative analysis of the reform of police and security forces in Kosovo, and explores the causes of different outcomes of these two processes.
Elections are now common in low-income societies. However, they are frequently flawed. We investigate a Nigerian election marred by violence. We designed and conducted a nationwide field experiment based on anti-violence campaigning. The campaign appealed to collective action through electoral participation, and worked through town meetings, popular theatres and door-to-door distribution of materials. We find that the campaign decreased violence perceptions and increased empowerment to counteract violence. We observe a rise in voter turnout and infer that the intimidation was dissociated from incumbents. These effects are accompanied by a reduction in the intensity of actual violence, as measured by journalists.
May 2000 Of the 27 major armed conflicts that occurred in 1999, all but two took place within national boundaries. As an impediment to development, internal rebellion especially hurts the world’s poorest countries. What motivates civil wars? Greed or grievance? Collier and Hoeffler compare two contrasting motivations for rebellion: greed and grievance. Most rebellions are ostensibly in pursuit of a cause, supported by a narrative of grievance. But since grievance assuagement through rebellion is a public good that a government will not supply, economists predict such rebellions would be rare. Empirically, many rebellions appear to be linked to the capture of resources (such as diamonds in Angola and Sierra Leone, drugs in Colombia, and timber in Cambodia). Collier and Hoeffler set up a simple rational choice model of greed-rebellion and contrast its predictions with those of a simple grievance model. Some countries return to conflict repeatedly. Are they conflict-prone or is there a feedback effect whereby conflict generates grievance, which in turn generates further conflict? The authors show why such a feedback effect might be present in both greed-motivated and grievance rebellions. The authors’ results contrast with conventional beliefs about the causes of conflict. A stylized version of conventional beliefs would be that grievance begets conflict, which begets grievance, which begets further conflict. With such a model, the only point at which to intervene is to reduce the level of objective grievance. Collier and Hoeffler’s model suggests that what actually happens is that opportunities for predation (controlling primary commodity exports) cause conflict and the grievances this generates induce dias-poras to finance further conflict. The point of policy intervention here is to reduce the absolute and relative attraction of primary commodity predation and to reduce the ability of diasporas to fund rebel movements. This paper – a product of the Development Research Group – is part of a larger effort in the group to study civil war and criminal violence
Most wars are now civil wars. Even though international wars attract enormous global attention, they have become infrequent and brief. Civil wars usually attract less attention, but they have become increasingly common and typically go on for years. This report argues that civil war is now an important issue for development. War retards development, but conversely, development retards war. This double causation gives rise to virtuous and vicious circles. Where development succeeds, countries become progressively safer from violent conflict, making subsequent development easier. Where development fails, countries are at high risk of becoming caught in a conflict trap in which war wrecks the economy and increases the risk of further war. The global incidence of civil war is high because the international community has done little to avert it. Inertia is rooted in two beliefs: that we can safely ‘let them fight it out among themselves’ and that ‘nothing can be done’ because civil war is driven by ancestral ethnic and religious hatreds. The purpose of this report is to challenge these beliefs.
I n July 2009, the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) facilitated a workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to capture the experiences of USDA agricultural advisors deployed to ministries and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. The discussions yielded numerous individual observations, insights, and potential lessons from the work of these advisors on PRTs in these countries. This article presents a broad overview of the challenges identified by the conference participants and highlights key recommendations generated as a result of suggestions and comments made at the workshop. The workshop was intended to capture insights and lessons from the !eld to develop recommendations for improvements in PRT operations, with a particular focus on agricultural development. The 30 participants came from a broad spectrum of USDA: the National Resources Conservation Service, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration. To focus the agenda, CCO and USDA designed a preworkshop survey administered to the 30 USDA returnees (22 from Iraq and 8 from Afghanistan). After receiving 24 responses, CCO and USDA used the results to develop an agenda built around facilitated group discussions in four areas: doctrine and guidance, civil-military cooperation and command and control relationships, projects and their impact on the host nation, and administrative issues.
Truth telling has come to play a pivotal role in postconflict reconciliation processes around the world. A common claim is that truth telling is healing and will lead to reconciliation. The present study applies recent psychological research to this issue by examining whether witnessing in the gacaca, the Rwandan village tribunals for truth and reconciliation after the 1994 genocide, was beneficial for psychological health. The results from the multistage, stratified cluster random survey of 1,200 Rwandans demonstrate that gacaca witnesses suffer from higher levels of depression and PTSD than do nonwitnesses, also when controlling for important predictors of psychological ill health. Furthermore, longer exposure to truth telling has not lowered the levels of psychological ill health, nor has the prevalence of depression and PTSD decreased over time. This study strongly challenges the claim that truth telling is healing and presents a novel understanding of the complexity of truth-telling processes in postconflict peace building.
Most aid spending by governments seeking to rebuild social and political order is based on an opportunity-cost theory of distracting potential recruits. The logic is that gainfully employed young men are less likely to participate in political violence, implying a positive correlation between unemployment and violence in locations with active insurgencies. The authors test that prediction in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines, using survey data on unemployment and two newly available measures of insurgency: (1) attacks against government and allied forces and (2) violence that kill civilians. Contrary to the opportunity-cost theory, the data emphatically reject a positive correlation between unemployment and attacks against government and allied forces (p < .05 percent). There is no significant relationship between unemployment and the rate of insurgent attacks that kill civilians. The authors identify several potential explanations, introducing the notion of insurgent precision to adjudicate between the possibilities that predation on one hand, and security measures and information costs on the other, account for the negative correlation between unemployment and violence in these three conflicts.
In countries affected by insurgencies, development programs may potentially reduce violence by improving economic outcomes and increasing popular support for the government. In this paper, we test the efficacy of this approach through a large-scale randomized controlled trial of the largest development program in Afghanistan at the height of the Taliban insurgency. We find that the program generally improved economic outcomes, increased support for the government, and reduced insurgent violence. However, in areas close to the Pakistani border, the program did not increase support for the government and actually increased insurgent violence. This heterogeneity in treatment effects appears to be due to differences between districts in the degree of infiltration by external insurgents, who are not reliant on the local population for support. The results suggest that while development programs can quell locally-based insurgencies, such programs may be counterproductive when implemented in areas where insurgents are not embedded in the local population.
The 2011 World development report looks across disciplines and experiences drawn from around the world to offer some ideas and practical recommendations on how to move beyond conflict and fragility and secure development. The key messages are important for all countries-low, middle, and high income-as well as for regional and global institutions: first, institutional legitimacy is the key to stability. When state institutions do not adequately protect citizens, guard against corruption, or provide access to justice; when markets do not provide job opportunities; or when communities have lost social cohesion-the likelihood of violent conflict increases. Second, investing in citizen security, justice, and jobs is essential to reducing violence. But there are major structural gaps in our collective capabilities to support these areas. Third, confronting this challenge effectively means that institutions need to change. International agencies and partners from other countries must adapt procedures so they can respond with agility and speed, a longer-term perspective, and greater staying power. Fourth, need to adopt a layered approach. Some problems can be addressed at the country level, but others need to be addressed at a regional level, such as developing markets that integrate insecure areas and pooling resources for building capacity Fifth, in adopting these approaches, need to be aware that the global landscape is changing. Regional institutions and middle income countries are playing a larger role. This means should pay more attention to south-south and south-north exchanges, and to the recent transition experiences of middle income countries.
The Conflict Analysis Framework (CAF), developed by the CPR Unit, aims to integrate sensitivity to conflict in Bank assistance, and to help Bank teams consider factors affecting both conflict and poverty when formulating development strategies, policies, and programs. Conflict sensitive approaches that take account of problem areas and potential sources of conflict may help to prevent the onset, exacerbation, or resurgence of violent conflict.
A purpose of this book is to present recent World Bank analytical work on the causes of violence and conflict in Colombia, highlighting pilot lending programs oriented to promote peace and development. The Bank’s international experiences in post-conflict situations in different countries and their relevance for Colombia are also examined in this volume. The identification of socio-economic determinants of conflict, violence, and reforms for peace came about as a key element of the Bank’s assistance strategy for Colombia, defined in conjunction with government authorities and representatives of civil society. This report is organized as follows: After the introductory chapter, Chapter 2 provides a conceptual framework for understanding a broad spectrum of political, economic, and social violence issues; identifies the role played by both the country’s history and the unequal access to economic and political power in the outbreak and resilience of political violence; and examines as costs of violence the adverse impact on Colombia’s physical, natural, human, and social capital. Chapter 3 analyzes the costs of achieving peace and its fiscal implications; and indicates that exclusion and inequality rather than poverty as the main determinants of violence and armed conflict. Chapter 4 reviews the Bank’s experience in assisting countries that are experiencing, or have already overcome, domestic armed conflict. The authors illustrate the relevance of these cases for Colombia.
The democratic uprisings and consequent turmoil in the Arab world during the last 18 months have had significant impact on the geostrategic situation in the Middle East as well as on the policies of major regional and global powers. As the upheavals continue to unfold, especially in strategically important countries such as Syria and Bahrain, they will continue to have a major impact on intraregional politics as well as great-power interests.
What are the impacts of war on the participants, and do they vary by gender? Are ex-combatants damaged pariahs who threaten social stability, as some fear? Existing theory and evidence are both inconclusive and focused on males. New data and a tragic natural quasi-experiment in Uganda allow us to estimate the impacts of war on both genders, and assess how war experiences affect reintegration success. As expected, violence drives social and psychological problems, especially among females. Unexpectedly, however, most women returning from armed groups reintegrate socially and are resilient. Partly for this reason, postconflict hostility is low. Theories that war conditions youth into violence find little support. Finally, the findings confirm a human capital view of recruitment: economic gaps are driven by time away from civilian education and labor markets. Unlike males, however, females have few civilian opportunities and so they see little adverse economic impact of recruitment.
Judging by the popular press, in January 2011 Twitter and Facebook went from being simply engaging social diversions to become engines of political change that upended decades of Arab authoritarianism. It is tempting to be swept away by this narrative, which suggests that social media prompted hundreds of thousands, and then millions, of Tunisians and Egyptians to pour into the streets and peacefully demand change. Brittle authoritarian regimes had little choice but to comply, and in this way, social media irrevocably changed the future of the Middle East. Following the logic to its conclusion, it would suggest that the Middle East is on the brink of a period of democratic consolidation, as the ideals and tools of revolutionaries lead the region forward into a period of anti-sectarianism, liberalism, and hope.
While political accommodation and the passage of time may heal the wounds in Iraqi society, it is just as likely that the lack of real reconciliation will undermine the political process.
The world breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement of a new Iraqi government on 21 December 2010. After nine months of wrangling following the 7 March elections, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki finally engineered a deal that kept him in place at the head of a 42-person cabinet. Maliki was unable to name a full coterie of ministers; ten of the portfolios, including the main security ministries, are being managed on a temporary basis by other ministers until permanent nominations are made. Nevertheless, approval of the cabinet brought to an end a crisis that left the political system in limbo and saw a deterioration of the security situation.
But now the deed is done, a much bigger question looms: will the government be able to manage Iraq, stabilise the country further and heal the internal divisions that threaten its long-term security?
In analyzing peace processes in postconflict societies, scholars have primarily focused on the impact of prosecutions, truth-telling efforts, and reconciliation strategies, while overlooking the importance of individual demands for reparations. The authors argue that normative explanations of why reparations are granted in the aftermath of regime change are useful in understanding a need for reconciliation, but inadequate for explaining victim demands for compensation. The authors extend this research to study civil war settlement. In the aftermath of civil war, when some form of reparation is offered giving individuals the opportunity to seek redress of grievances, what types of loss and political and socioeconomic characteristics are likely to lead some individuals to apply for reparations but not others? Using primary data, collected through a public opinion survey in Nepal, the authors investigate individual-level demand for reparations. The findings suggest that understanding loss and risk factors may be important to civil war settlement and reconciliation.
Most quantitative assessments of civil conflict draw on annual country-level data to determine a baseline hazard of conflict onset. The first problem with such analyses is that they ignore factors associated with the precipitation of violence, such as elections and natural disasters and other trigger mechanisms. Given that baseline hazards are relatively static, most of the temporal variation in risk is associated with such precipitating factors. The second problem with most quantitative analyses of conflict is that they assume that civil conflicts are distributed uniformly throughout the country. This is rarely the case; most intrastate armed conflicts take place in the periphery of the country, well away from the capital and often along international borders. Analysts fail to disaggregate temporally as well as spatially. While other contributions to this issue focus on the temporal aspect of conflict, this article addresses the second issue: the spatial resolution of analysis. To adequately assess the baseline risk of armed conflict, this article develops a unified prediction model that combines a quantitative assessment of conflict risk at the country level with country-specific sub-national analyses at first-order administrative regions. Geo-referenced data on aspects of social, economic, and political exclusion, as well as endemic poverty and physical geography, are featured as the principal local indicators of latent conflict. Using Asia as a test case, this article demonstrates the unique contribution of applying a localized approach to conflict prediction that explicitly captures sub-national variation in civil conflict risk.
The disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process in Afghanistan, widely acknowledged as flawed, has contributed to fragmentation and insecurity within Afghanistan. Based upon discussions with more than 500 DDR programme beneficiaries, the article describes the manner in which the reintegration process increased former combatants’ and commanders’ vulnerability to remobilisation in support of or in opposition to the Taliban-led insurgency by weakening cohesion between combatants and their former commanders and by fostering ineffective and culturally inappropriate livelihoods. The author argues that the DDR process and other international and Afghan government interventions have, furthermore, contributed to the fragmentation of the country and the straining of internal, regional tensions. The Taliban, as well as those fighting under its banner, has been the primary beneficiary of this fragmentation and has consolidated a highly diverse coalition of fighters. The opposing trends of a fragmented social, economic and political context, in relation to both individual former combatants and the country as a whole, and an increasingly cohesive insurgency will continue to contribute to greater insecurity and the potential for intra-state conflict.
The Philippines can be considered a country where successive governments have sought to create a single nation by implementing integration policies. In this article, two formal models are developed –the modernism model and the historicism (primordialism or essentialism) model — to suitably analyze the national integration policy of the Philippines. The analysis reveals that (1) the post-independence national integration policy of the Philippines cannot be regarded as being successful; (2) national integration in the Philippines will continue to be difficult; (3) no deterministic argument can be made regarding the relationship between mobilization and national cleavage; and (4) the modern nation should not be regarded as an extension of pre-modern ethnic groups but as a new identity group that is formed through the process of modernization. In addition, the mathematical implications of the two models are derived. The modernism model implies that (1) in some cases, a ruling group that is in the majority at the time of independence can maintain its position even if it cannot assimilate a majority of the underlying people after independence; (2) in some cases, a ruling group that is not in the majority at the time of independence cannot attain a majority even if it is able to assimilate a majority of the underlying people after independence; and (3) a larger ruling group is not always capable of promoting greater integration than a smaller one can. On the other hand, the historicism model implies that the size of the underlying ethnic group that will comprise the ruling group when mobilized is the key to the success or failure of national integration.
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.
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.
Negotiating the right of return is a central issue in post-conflict societies aiming to resolve tensions between human rights issues and security concerns. Peace proposals often fail to carefully balance these tensions or to identify incentives and linkages that enable refugee return. To address this gap, the article puts forward an alternative arrangement in negotiating refugee rights currently being considered in the bilateral negotiations in Cyprus. Previous peace plans for the reunification of the island emphasized primarily Turkish Cypriot security and stipulated a maximum number of Greek Cypriot refugees eligible to return under future Turkish Cypriot administration. The authors’ alternative suggests a minimum threshold of Greek Cypriots refugees plus self-adjustable incentives for the Turkish Cypriot community to accept the rest. The article reviews different options including linking actual numbers of returnees with naturalizations for Turkish settlers or immigrants, Turkey’s EU-accession, and territorial re-adjustments across the federal border. In this proposed formula, the Greek Cypriot side would reserve concessions until refugee return takes place, while the Turkish Cypriot community would be demographically secure under all scenarios by means of re-adjustable naturalization and immigration quotas. Drawing parallels with comparable cases, the article emphasizes the importance of making reciprocity and linkages explicit in post-conflict societies.
Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the cultural dimensions of conflict. Books, studies, and courses have offered perspectives on the nature of culture and its complex relationship to the transformation of conflict. Yet, ethnic and cultural fault-lines in multiple destructive conflicts continue to bring high-profile reminders of the frailty of our approaches when faced with generational hatred and enemy identities. What has brought culture onto centre stage as a feature of conflict? Among other factors, the role of world militaries continues to shift from cold war strategies of deterrence to hot peace missions of peace keeping and peace building. These deployments typically involve multinational forces in countries divided by intense ethnic conflicts, necessitate extended interaction with local cultures, and frequently include efforts to strengthen civil societies that are deeply rooted in diverse cultural and historical traditions. Thus, these teams themselves experience cultural miscommunications and conflicts as they are dealing with the same in the populations they have come to serve. In this article, I will focus on ways culture operates both as a resource and a barrier. The next section will present three metaphorical perspectives: first, culture as a lens, secondly, culture as a medium for sustaining life, and, lastly, culture as a symbolic, interactive system, both shaping and reflecting identity and meaning. Each of these perspectives informs the contextual approach to transforming intercultural conflict that I will present in the final section.
Although the discipline of family law in the western legal tradition transcends the public/private law boundary in many ways, it is the argument of this Essay that family law, in the private law sense of defining the rights and obligations of members of a family, forms an important part of the legal architecture of nation-building in at least three ways. First, access to the resources of the nation-state devolves through biologically and culturally gendered national boundaries, both reflecting and reinforcing the differential status of men and women in the sphere of the family. Second, the social institution of the family and the legal framework that defines it embody power relations that, in turn, help to shape the larger polity. Hence, laws governing marriage, divorce, marital property, maintenance, child custody, child support, cohabitation, inheritance, and illegitimacy define not only power and status within families, but also within civil society, the market, and the political sphere. Third, the symbolic family, and sometimes the law defining it, may figure in important ways in the struggle for national identity that often takes place contemporaneously with nation-building. In Part II of this Essay, we explore the first claim, that national boundaries are gendered through the use of family relationships to control access to citizenship and thus to the resources and the protection of the state. We suggest that the use of kinship ties in an explicitly gendered way in the United States reinforces a concept of ethnic nationalism, casting women, and especially mothers, as the symbolic protectors of national identity. In Part III, we analyze ways in which family structure is defined by and reinforces hierarchy within the larger society. Following an exploration of theoretical arguments concerning the interplay of family and social hierarchy, we offer as an example of this dynamic the historical manipulation of African customary law by colonial powers. Finally, in Part IV, we argue that the ideology of the family often figures in important ways in the development of national identity in post-colonial or post-crisis states. We then discuss the example of South Africa and show how family law can serve as a site for the intersection of nationalist politics and the legal architecture of the nation-building process, here again in ways that are highly gendered.
In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available. Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.
This article compares Britain’s failed attempt at building a stable, liberal state in Iraq from 1914 to 1932 with the USA’s struggle to stabilise the country after regime change in April 2003. It sets out a template for endogenous state-building based on the evolution of the European state system. It then compares this to exogenous extra-European state-building after both World War I and the Cold War. It focuses on three key stages: the imposition of order, the move from coercive to administrative capacity and finally the evolution of a collective civic identity linked to the state. It is this process against which Iraqi state-building by the British in the 1920s and by the USA from 2003 onwards can be accurately judged to have failed. For both the British and American occupations, troop numbers were one of the central problems undermining the stability of Iraq. British colonial officials never had the resources to transform the despotic power deployed by the state into sustainable infrastructural capacity. Instead they relied on hakumat al tayarra (government by aircraft). The dependence upon air power led to the neglect of other state institutions, stunting the growth of infrastructural power and hence state legitimacy. The US occupation has never managed to impose despotic power, having failed to obtain a monopoly over the collective deployment of violence. Instead it has relied on ‘indigenisation,’ the hurried creation of a new Iraqi army. The result has been the security vacuum that dominates the south and centre of the country. The article concludes by suggesting that unsuccessful military occupations usually end after a change of government in the intervening country. This was the case for the British in May 1929 and may well be the case for the USA after the next presidential election in 2008.
This article seeks to draw out an understanding of the role of narratives and discourses of race, culture and civil society within international peacebuilding, through the location of the discourse of culture as a transitional stage between interventionist and regulatory discourses of race and civil society. It particularly seeks to highlight that the discourse of culture is key to understanding the peacebuilding discourses of intervention and regulation that have developed in the last decade. This is all the more important as the discourse of culture has in many respects been displaced by the discourse of civil society. In drawing out the links between the framings of race, culture and civil society, the article seeks to explain how the discourse of civil society intervention has been reinvented on the basis of the moral divide established and made coherent through the discourse of culture, and how the discourse of civil society contains a strong apologetic content, capable of legitimizing and explaining the persistence of social and economic problems or political fragmentation while simultaneously offering potential policy programmes on the basis of highly ambitious goals of social transformation.
Although the case-based literature suggests that kin groups are prominent in ethnonationalist conflicts, quantitative studies of civil war onset have both overaggregated and underaggregated the role of ethnicity, by looking at civil war at the country level instead of among specific groups and by treating individual countries as closed units, ignoring groups’ transnational links. In this article the authors integrate transnational links into a dyadic perspective on conflict between marginalized ethnic groups and governments. They argue that transnational links can increase the risk of conflict as transnational kin support can facilitate insurgencies and are difficult for governments to target or deter. The empirical analysis, using new geocoded data on ethnic groups on a transnational basis, indicates that the risk of conflict is high when large, excluded ethnic groups have transnational kin in neighboring countries, and it provides strong support for the authors’ propositions on the importance of transnational ties in ethnonationalist conflict.
In the midst of the current crisis of crime and violence, it seems almost trite to state that there is a need for greater respect for justice and the law in South Africa. As reflected in some recent studies on organised crime, attitudes of ambivalence towards the law on the part of many South Africans contribute to an environment in which organised, and other crime, flourishes. Known criminals are widely tolerated, or even admired – notably if they are perceived as preying on people from other communities. This forms part of a culture which also condones other illegal practices, spanning everything from the buying of stolen goods and illegal reconnections, to corruption and white-collar crime. The fact that there is also a significant problem of vigilantism is also obviously a manifestation of a lack of respect for the law. Vigilantism is, in part, motivated by the sense that people have that they need to take the law into their own hands as they cannot rely on the criminal justice system to enforce the law. This belief in the ineffectiveness of the criminal justice system in turn provides vigilantes with the confidence that, in punishing the alleged perpetrators of the original crime, they themselves can violate the law with impunity.
This book seeks to move the debate on Iraq toward a consideration of how Iraqis, with the help of the international community, can build an inclusive and enduring social contract amongst themselves. The volume analyses the drivers of conflict and outlines the requirements – and obstacles in the way – of a successful peace-building enterprise in a country that has endured domestic upheavals, but also generated threats to international peace and security, for more than a generation. The authors argue that a downward spiral of violence and possible state collapse can be avoided – but that much needs to be done to achieve these aims.
Afghanistan’s restoration of the rule of law has set in motion a renewed debate about fundamental legal principles that has not been seen in the West since the time of the Enlightenment: Who is justice for? Who has the right to seek compensation or justice? Does the state or the individual have priority in seeking justice and delivering punishment? Is law a human creation or is it rooted in divine authority? But it is a debate without an audience in the international community that is assisting the Afghan government in restoring its judicial system because the answer appears so self-evident. Those from societies with long established systems of formal justice automatically assume that it is an ultimate good, that surely everybody wants justice applied by the state. The Afghans who run the formal system assert the same. But they have not won over the population by any means since people, particularly in rural areas, are still fighting out this issue politically and culturally: Is state authority a good idea? Who should set the terms of agreement? Who should determine the rights and the wrongs? This is because so many areas of Afghanistan have operated without (or outside of) formal government institutions for a very long time; not just because of war, but because that is the way things have always been. For example, the assumption that the state has exclusive sovereignty over criminal matters is not fully accepted by most of the Afghan population. Here the family still takes precedence, reserving the right to take revenge or demand compensation when one of its members has suffered an injury. Such injuries extend beyond physical damages to property or person and include damages to a group’s honor that demand retaliation. While Afghan governments formally reject such claims of personal justice, they have never been able to extend the formal system to most of rural Afghanistan; the people there never relied on state institutions and often took offense when the state interfered in what they viewed to be personal matters.
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.