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
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 two volumes of Understanding Civil War build upon the World Bank’s prior research on conflict and violence, particularly on the work of Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, whose model of civil war onset has sparked much discussion on the relationship between conflict and development in what came to be known as the “greed” versus “grievance” debate. The authors systematically apply the Collier-Hoeffler model to 15 countries in 6 different regions of the world, using a comparative case study methodology to revise and expand upon economic models of civil war. (The countries selected are Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Indonesia, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Caucasus.) The book concludes that the “greed” versus “grievance” debate should be abandoned for a more complex model that considers greed and grievance as inextricably fused motives for civil war.
The article sketches the tension between power-sharing as a form of conflict resolution and the implementation of WPS norms in peace processes. It begins with an exploration of each process, before considering how the cases have broached the relationship between power-sharing and women’s representation.
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.
This book highlights the gender dimensions of conflict, organized around major relevant themes such as female combatants, sexual violence, formal and informal peace processes, the legal framework, work, the rehabilitation of social services and community-driven development. It analyzes how conflict changes gender roles and the policy options that might be considered to build on positive aspects while minimizing adverse changes. The suggested policy options and approaches aim to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by violent conflict to encourage change and build more inclusive and gender balanced social, economic and political relations in post-conflict societies. The book concludes by identifying some of the remaining challenges and themes that require additional analysis and research.
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.
Women have always participated to some extent in combat, but several recent wars have seen them fighting on the front lines. And while the roles of female excombatants vary widely, the women seem to share one unfortunate characteristic: limited access to benefits when peace and demobilization come. This is also true for girls abducted for sexual services and the families of ex-combatants in the receiving community. These groups are often neglected during demobilization and reintegration; or at best, women, men, boys, and girls may receive equal benefits but are treated as a homogenous group, which prevents their specific needs from being addressed. Some think that the first objective of a DRP (Demobilization and Reintegration Program) is to have a positive impact on the peace dividend. Another goal often mentioned is the reduction of military expenditures for budgetary reasons. However, others argue that the DRP objectives should be to assist vulnerable excombatans.
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.
East Sudan has received a continuous influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees over the last forty years. Mass influxes were witnessed during years when the region experienced natural catastrophes as droughts and floods, or an escalation of tensions and conflict in neighboring countries, mainly Eritrea and Ethiopia. Presently there is still a steady but smaller in numbers influx of refugees, mostly from Eritrea, but with an apparent change in their social composition and expectations. Present day internal population movements relate to more conventional forms of migration within Sudan, that is, households in search of work and economic opportunities. Still, the situation of the large number of IDPs that moved to the area over 15 years ago and are living in camps is precarious and needs urgent attention. Presently there are not the basic conditions required to provide a durable solution to the refugees in a protracted situation in eastern Sudan. To a large extent that also applies to IDPs with long permanence in camps; there are not conditions to achieve self-reliance by most of the displaced population given the situation of their locations in eastern Sudan in terms of natural environment and its capacity to support sustainable agriculture and other urban and rural economic activities. Within the overall mission of the World Bank, its strategic objective in contributing towards the durable solution of forced displacement situations is to bring the affected countries and displaced population back to the path of peace and development, enabling the application of pro-poor policies and fostering economic growth. Under these conditions, the World Bank will be in a better position to engage the affected countries through its regular operations.
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.
Despite increased international attention to managing the potential impacts of peacekeeping on host countries, unintended consequences continue to emerge. This article focuses particularly on the alternative economies that peacekeeping operations generate and the differential economic impacts on individuals who come into contact with peacekeepers. Based on empirical evidence derived from fieldwork in Liberia, the article highlights the everyday lives of women whose livelihoods have been affected by the presence of peacekeeping missions. It also discusses how such economies adjust during the peacekeeping drawdown phase, and explores the dynamics that such economies have on specific segments of the Liberian population. The argument is that, while peacekeeping economies are critical in stimulating the local economy and providing livelihoods during and in the immediate aftermath of war, they have negative unintended impacts that need mitigation.
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.
On numerous occasions in the past fifteen years, U.N. peacekeepers have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing the populations they serve. A Comprehensive Review of peacekeeper misconduct completed in 2005 identified significant problems and recommended numerous changes to address them. The U.S. Army and NATO, in a response to the possibility that their deployed troops will be engaged in or facilitate human trafficking, have enacted new policies intended to remove their troops from the demand for women trafficked for sexual services. The Department of Defense and NATO initiatives are similar to those being considered by the United Nations for preventing sexual misconduct by its peacekeepers. Because the United States, NATO, and the United Nations are all addressing the problems of sexual misconduct by deployed troops, their efforts should be mutually reinforcing. The examples of American and NATO armed forces offer hope that the United Nations will also enact strong measures to prevent future misconduct by its peacekeepers.
This article compares the debates and demonstrations about Darfur that have taken place in the Sudan, the United States, and Qatar and illuminates how political violence is apprehended and cultural identities are constructed. The rallies that occurred among Sudanese inside and outside the Sudan following the 2009 indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) are particularly revealing. Examining what has been represented worldwide as the first genocide of the twenty-first century brings to light the ideologies that are expressed in impassioned political positions. Ideology, which implicitly undergirds the mixed emotions with which the ICC warrant was received, has been fundamental to the Darfur story from the start of the crisis in 2003. Describing Darfur in three distinct sociopolitical arenas, one sees various scenarios that are akin to a play with multiple actors and scenes, each of which is contextually mediated and expertly produced. The disconnections, ruptures, and shifts in the flow of this narration point to the disparities in the situational, local, regional, and transnational forces at work.
Romanticised, popular concepts of womanhood and of women’s peace-building capacities need to be critically investigated. A gendered approach is recommended as a corrective to stereotyped perspectives about women and peace, as well as to gender-blind experiments. Such an approach may be found realistic and useful, not only in everyday circumstances, but especially also in war and post-war situations. Particular attention is given to gender in post-war politics, economy and social reconstruction.
This article critically reflects on the ways in which the global project of transitional justice is channelled or streamlined in its scope of application. Using the categories of ‘when’, to ‘whom’ and for ‘what’ transitional justice applies, it argues that transitional justice is typically constructed to focus on specific sets of actors for specific sets of crimes. This results in a fairly narrow interpretation of violence within a somewhat artificial time frame and to the exclusion of external actors. The article engages themes of gender, power and structural violence to caution against the narrowing and depoliticisation of transitional justice.
Gender has been marginalized in security sector reform (SSR). Policy has changed in recent years, but the gap between policy and practice remains significant. This article examines gender and SSR, critiques some of the current debate on gender in SSR, outlines the challenges of adopting a gender-sensitive SSR approach and discusses the issue of gender-based violence and justice reform. The article concludes that there is a need to refocus gender in SSR discourse. Gender should be treated within the broader SSR context to avoid the separation of gender from other matters in SSR. Gender is not only about women and essentialist assumptions are not useful to the discourse. There is also a critical need to expand the focus on representation to gender mainstreaming and context sensitivity, and to avoid template models for SSR.
The DDR process that took place in Lebanon after the internal wars (1975-89), based on the Ta’if Accord (1989), was not co-ordinated by any international organisation. This paper assesses the reintegration of a number of combatants of one of the militias, the Lebanese Forces, placing particular emphasis on the context in which it unfolded. A programme of reintegration into the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) was proposed to the ex-combatants, but because of the high number on one side and because of the situation within the LAF itself (a pluri-religious organisation under reorganisation) this programme had little effect on the process. Instead the majority of the ex-combatants came to rely on their family and network established within the militia for their social and economic reintegration. This study finds that there has been little rupture between life as combatants and life as civilians. Three contextual factors were particularly important: the small size of the country, the rhythm of the war where periods of combat alternated with periods of calm, and the close contact combatants managed to keep with their family, work, schools and universities. A key lesson for DDR processes more generally stems from the study: DDR initiatives are likely to be most effective when they work alongside and augment indigenous positive social processes contributing to reintegration.
This paper argues that gender issues are becoming politicised in novel and counterproductive ways in contexts where armed interventions usher in new blueprints for governance and democratisation. Using illustrations from constitutional and electoral processes in Afghanistan and Iraq, it analyses how the nature of emerging political settlements in environments of high risk and insecurity may jeopardise stated international commitments to a women’s rights agenda. The disjuncture between stated aims and observed outcomes becomes particularly acute in contexts where security and the rule of law are severely compromised, where Islam becomes a stake in power struggles among contending factions and where ethnic/sectarian constituencies are locked in struggles of representation in defence of their collective rights.
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.
Issues surrounding legitimacy and the role of civil society are at the forefront of contemporary global governance debates. Examining the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and focusing on the specific issue areas of justice and gender, this article evaluates the effectiveness and accountability of the administration from the perspective of East Timorese civil society, whose voice is largely absent from previous analyses. Drawing on the archive of the prominent civil society group La’o Hamutuk, this study adds precision and nuance to an area of research characterized by broad-stroke assessments of the legitimacy of multinational interventions. It finds variations in the levels of overall legitimacy exhibited by particular issue areas and differences in terms of the configuration of accountability and effectiveness enjoyed by UNTAET. Although sounding a cautionary note about the degree of civil society influence in global governance, the study concludes that La’o Hamutuk nevertheless provided a more diffuse sense of discursive voice and accountability than would otherwise have been accorded the East Timorese during this crucial period in their history.
Previous studies have suggested that societies where women have higher social and economic status and greater political representation are less likely to become involved in conflict. In this article, the author argues that the prospects for successful post-conflict peacebuilding under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) are generally better in societies where women have greater levels of empowerment. Women’s status in a society reflects the existence of multiple social networks and domestic capacity not captured by purely economic measures of development such as GDP per capita. In societies where women have relatively higher status, women have more opportunities to express a voice in the peacemaking process and to elicit broader domestic participation in externally led peacekeeping operations. This higher level of participation in turn implies that UN Peacekeeping operations can tap into great social capital and have better prospects for success. An empirical analysis of post-conflict cases with a high risk of conflict recurrence shows that UN peacekeeping operations have been significantly more effective in societies in which women have relatively higher status. By contrast, UN peacekeeping operations in countries where women have comparatively lower social status are much less likely to succeed.
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.
In the last decade of the 20th century 43 countries have been considered as countries emerging from violent conflicts. Most of them were affected by intra-state wars and civil wars, and most of these belong to the category of the poorest (“less developed countries” according to criteria of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). An extraordinary high percentage was located in the African continent. The international community pledged more than one hundred billion dollars in aid to war-torn societies. These were designed to build up infrastructure, to persuade formerly warring parties to resolve conflict in a non-violent way and to contribute to economic development and participatory governance. Experts and political actors have stated that international agencies often used too narrowminded a concept in the past, reducing their activities to technical reconstruction after the end of violent conflict. A broader conceptualisation is needed to support the difficult long-term process of transformation from war to peace. This chapter gives an overview of the variety of tasks required to make post-conflict recovery successful in the sense of preventing further conflict and some tensions and dilemmas are identified and discussed.
In Timor-Leste the fight against Indonesian occupation, social conservatism, the persistence of ethnic and cultural mores and the prioritisation of caste and adat have shaped gender relations in both public and private life. In the early struggle for power after independence women fought long and hard for recognition as important political actors and concomitantly the implementation of a policy of affirmative action to ensure their place in the new National Parliament-a battle initially sidelined and defeated by primarily international political androcentricity. Recent achievements of almost 30 per cent representation of women in the National Parliament demonstrate that women have come a long way in a very short time. Nevertheless, the problems of regional political and socio-economic incorporation have impeded the establishment of a full and complete citizenship for women. This paper considers how the politics of culture and traditional mores in a post-conflict situation can determine and shape the political struggle for gender equity both within and across the different generations of Timorese men and women.
Reflecting a growing awareness of the need to integrate security and development agendas in the field of conflict management, the authors of this original volume focus on the case of the Pacific Islands. In the process, they also reveal the sociopolitical diversity, cultural richness, and social resilience of a little-known region. Their work not only offers insight into the societies discussed, but also speaks to the realities of political community and statebuilding efforts throughout the developing world.
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.
The challenge of nation-building, i.e., dealing with the societal and political aftermaths of conflicts and putting new governments and new social compacts into place, has occupied much international energy during the past several decades. As an art, a process, and a set of competencies, it is still very much in an ongoing learning and experimentation phase. The RAND Corporation has contributed to the emerging knowledge base in this domain through a series of studies that have looked at nation-building enterprises led by the United States and others that were led by the United Nations and have examined the experiences gained during the reconstruction of specific sectors. Our study focuses on gender and nation-building. It considers this issue from two aspects: First, it examines gender-specific impacts of conflict and post-conflict and the ways in which events in these contexts may affect women differently than they affect men. Second, it analyzes the role of women in the nation-building process, in terms of both actual current practices, as far as these could be measured and ascertained, and possible outcomes that might occur if these practices were to be modified.
Since the end of the Taliban regime the question has arisen how Afghan women, after years of exclusion from political life, can be helped to get involved in the democratic reconstruction of their country.This report attempts to make suggestions and to point out obstacles to this by dealing with various areas of social life in Afghanistan relevant to women. It is based on a field trip to Afghanistan and the Pakistani border town of Peshawar in February and March 2002 as well as numerous conversations with exiled Afghan women, mainly in Germany. Around 80 Afghan women were interviewed in all.
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.
In the contemporary global context, transitions from conflict to peace and from authoritarian to democratic governance are a critical preoccupation of many states. In these contexts, accountability for the abuses committed by prior regimes has been a priority for international institutions, states, and new governments. Nonetheless, transitional justice goals have expanded to include a broad range of structural reforms in multiple spheres. Whether an expanded or contracted transitional justice paradigm is used to define the perimeters of change, gender concerns have been markedly absent across jurisdictions experiencing transformation. This article examines the conceptualization of and legal provision for gender security and its subsequent effects upon accountability in times of transition, with particular reference to post-conflict societies. The article closely assesses a range of contemporary issues implicated for women including an examination of post-conflict security from a gender perspective, gender and disarmament, and the centrality and effect of security sector reform for women. The article pays particular attention to the under-theorized and under-researched role of international masculinities, and the patriarchy that is imported with international oversight of transitional societies.