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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
State-building has been seen as the path to both security and development in East Timor. State-building, however, has been approached as an exercise in the transfer of key liberal institutions, with relatively little attention paid by either relevant international agencies or the East Timorese government to situating these institutions within a social context. In particular, there has been little effort on the part of central institutions to engage with local, community and customary governance. Building a state in which people do not feel at home and where they do not speak the language of governance threatens to marginalise the majority of the population and is not a recipe for nationhood, democracy or security. Nation-building, by contrast, could suggest a renewed emphasis on the vital connection between central government and people, in which legitimacy is embedded and active citizenship is possible. Thus conceived, nation-building requires processes of communication and exchange that effectively include rural people, their values, practices and concerns, as a nation of citizens requires some shared language and institutions of political community.
The securitization framework has greatly improved empirical analysis of security threats. Yet, it could benefit from heightened analysis of two often neglected aspects. First, this article argues that securitizers may invoke multiple referent objects to strengthen their argument that the referent object possesses the `right to survive’. Second, by drawing attention to the presentation of securitizing moves, as well as their content, it highlights how securitizers attempt to persuade multiple audiences that their securitizing moves should be accepted and countermeasures enacted. These claims are illustrated through the analysis of an atypical case of securitization performed by an unlikely set of securitizers, humanitarian aid organizations, as they argue that indistinctiveness poses an existential threat both to their material security and to their identity.
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.
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.
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.
Can we regard all victims, including victims who become perpetrators, in the same light ethically, politically or legally? This is a theoretical discussion drawing from a diverse body of literature from political theory, philosophy, and the social sciences, to the work of peace and conflict studies and practitioners of reconciliation and conflict management. It begins with a general discussion of identity as it relates to politics, looking briefly at North American discussions of the social construction of identity and relating this discourse to conflict management in the twenty-first century. Secondly, it demonstrates what Mamdani means by the “worldview of the rat” in the context of the Rwandan genocide and outline the dangers of the binary logic such a worldview imprisons us within. This third section will discusses in more detail the condition and status of the victim today, keeping in mind the question: “who is a victim?” particularly as it pertains to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine. Fourth, it explores current discussions of the efficacy of dialogue groups, again mostly in Israel and Palestine, and attempt to draw out the implications for conflict management practice. Finally, it draws some conclusions regarding the remaking of political community that does not have the production of binary identities at its origin.
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.
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.
Contemporary Afghan politics is marked by a debate over the “mujahideen.” This contest involves the mythologizing, demythologizing and appropriation of the term by a wide variety of actors, from warlords, tribal combatants, the Taliban and Anti-Coalition Forces to rights activists and journalists. This struggle is a competition for legitimacy over the “right to rule” and the “right to conduct violence”; and it is critical to understanding the dilemmas of statebuilding in Afghanistan. Through such an examination, policy lessons are acquired concerning the role of the Afghan government and members of the international community in confronting armed groups.
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.
This is a theoretical paper on the individual and group rights in the context of conflict transformation. Excerpt from conclusion: The discourse on group rights is committed to explore, protect and strengthen individual and collective identities. One must see group rights as a component of the larger system of rights. The central issue is to make individuals and groups compatible and thereby avoid contradiction.