Greed and Grievance in Civil War

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

World Development Report 2011 : Conflict, Security, and Development

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.

Nation Building or Nation Splitting? Political Transition and the Dangers of Violence

Internationally-directed nation building combines great rhetorical promise with very mixed practical outcomes. In spite of considerable optimism on the part of international actors, and in spite of often substantial desire for a functioning government among targeted populations, it has not clearly succeeded in building states or nations. The question is why? While many authors look to the weaknesses of international efforts for explanation, the answers may lie instead in the difficult process of transition itself. Although transforming political and social interactions is often necessary in post-conflict contexts, doing so can intensify vulnerabilities and uncertainties that prevent reforming governments from establishing legitimacy. That can in turn enable the fragmentation of political authority and become a sort of worst case scenario for nation building. International actors have shown no ability to counteract fragmentation and in some cases may unwittingly aid its entrenchment. One reason for this is that nation building strategies seldom take account of the hazards of transition, particularly the ways in which international preferences and domestic needs may clash. This article examines nation building within the context of political transition to assess how and when international efforts serve to unite or splinter state authority. It argues that the capacity to improve outcomes rests in better understanding the dynamics of transition, particularly the group vulnerabilities that reform exacerbates. Where nation building cannot counteract fragmentation it cannot succeed, but will serve rather to create contexts where political violence is both easier and more likely.

Resistance and the Post-liberal Peace

This article discusses what an IR and peacebuilding praxis derived from the everyday might entail. It examines the insights of a number of literatures which contribute to a discussion of the dynamics of the everyday. The enervation of agency and the repoliticisation of peacebuilding is its objective. It charts how local agency has led to resistance and hybrid forms of peace despite the overwhelming weight of the liberal peace project. In some aspects this may be complementary to the latter and commensurate with the liberal state, but in other aspects the everyday points beyond the liberal peace.

Forms of Civil War Violence and Their Consequences for Future Public Health

Previous research concerning the relationship between conflict and public health finds that countries emerging from war face greater challenges in ensuring the well-being of their populations in comparison with states that have enjoyed political stability. This study seeks to extend this insight by considering how different civil war conflict strategies influence post-conflict public health. Drawing a distinction between deaths attributable to battle and those fatalities resulting from genocide/politicide, we find that the magnitude of genocide/politicide proves the more effective and consistent predictor of future rates of disability and death in the aftermath of civil war. The implications of this research are twofold. First, it lends support to an emerging literature suggesting that important distinctions exist between the forms of violence occurring during civil war. Second, of particular interest to policymakers, it identifies post-civil war states that have experienced the highest rates of genocide/politicide as the countries most in need of assistance in the aftermath of conflict.

Bribes or Bargains? Peace Conditionalities and ‘Post-Conflict’ Reconstruction in Afghanistan

This article focuses on the role of international aid donors in Afghanistan since the signing of the Bonn Agreement in 2001. Specifically, it explores the scope and utility of peace conditionalities as an instrument for peace consolidation in the context of a fragile war-to-peace transition. Geo-strategic and institutional concerns have generally led to an unconditional approach to assistance by international actors. It is argued that large inflows of unconditional aid risk re-creating the structural conditions that led to the outbreak of conflict. Aid conditionalities need to be re-conceptualized as aid-for-peace bargains rather than as bribes for security. Some forms of conditionality are necessary in order to rebuild the social contract in Afghanistan. This finding has wider relevance for aid donors and they should reconsider orthodox development models in ‘fragile state’ settings. Rather than seeing conditionalities and ownership as two ends of a policy spectrum, the former may be a necessary instrument for achieving the latter.

Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World

The international community has struggled without much success to remedy the problem of failed states. Meanwhile, 40 or 50 countries around the world — from Sudan and Somalia to Kosovo and East Timor — remain in a crisis of governance. In this impressive book, Ghani, a former Afghan finance minister, and Lockhart, who has worked at the World Bank and the United Nations, assess the missteps and offer a new framework for coordinated action. They argue that international responses have failed because they have been piecemeal and have proceeded with little understanding of what states need to do in the modern world system to connect citizens to global flows. They advocate a “citizen-based approach.” State-building strategies would be organized around a “double compact”: between country leaders and the international community, on the one hand, and country leaders and citizens, on the other. The book also proposes methods for the generation of comparative data on state capacity — a “sovereignty index” — to be annually reported to the UN and the World Bank. Ultimately, this study offers a surprisingly optimistic vision. The fact that so many disadvantaged countries have made dramatic economic and political transitions over the last decade suggests that developmental pathways do exist — if only the lessons and practical knowledge of local circumstances can be matched to coordinated and sustained international efforts. The authors provide a practical framework for achieving these ends, supporting their case with first-hand examples of struggling territories such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo and Nepal as well as the world’s success stories–Singapore, Ireland, and even the American South.

In the Balance: Measuring Progress in Afghanistan

This report is an effort to help international actors better understand and increase their effectiveness in Afghanistan and other post-conflict cases. The report maps data collected from public information, media reporting, polling, and on-the-ground interviews to measure reconstruction in terms of the effects international efforts have had on people’s everyday lives. This innovative approach to data collection is designed to establish a baseline and promote realistic goals; work in situations where data are unreliable and anecdotes are rumor filled; and measure actual benefits, as opposed to simply money spent, projects completed, and other familiar tests. The report concludes that despite significant advancements since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan has not yet reached the “Viable Zone”–where people’s immediate needs have been met and a foundation for building long-term government and human capacity has been established. It makes actionable recommendations for ways to improve the reconstruction effort in the areas of security, governance, justice, economic opportunity, and social well-being.

Winning Haiti’s Protection Competition: Organized Crime and Peace Operations Past, Present and Future

This article draws lessons from the experiences of international involvement in Haiti from 1990 to the present day. It argues that if the model of liberal, responsible government championed by the international community is to provide a resolution to the ongoing violence and instability in Haiti, then Haitian society will first have to be wooed away from coercive ‘protection’ by local and transnational organized crime. However, it argues that peace operations as they are currently conceived and deployed are ill-equipped for this task, given their limited territorial ambit and traditional focus on military response rather than political economy. However, the article concludes that experiences in Haiti may also offer lessons about how peace operations could win ‘protection competitions’ by serving as the leading edge of a unified international strategy for the transformation of local political economies.

Early Warning and the Field: A Cargo Cult Science?

Early warning is a large field with many different methodologies operating on different levels and with a wide range of issues. There are a broad variety of actors involved in these systems from grassroots projects to academics working on computer simulations. Few people would disagree with the concept of early warning: to obtain knowledge and, what is more, to use that knowledge to assist in the mitigation of conflict. In this sense, early warning is an irrefutable necessity. There is a need to actively engage in crisis prevention where the first step is the prognosis of when, why and where conflict will erupt. This is the same process as any troubleshooting: what is the problem and cause, how imminent and what can we do about it? The options that can be taken are necessarily tied to the understanding of the cause. It is, in this sense, that crisis prevention is coupled to early warning. Although related, it is different to ask whether early warning systems are essential or whether they can be successful. They are related to each other because the concepts of early warning behind their importance are in turn the criteria of success. This chapter will critically review whether early warning systems can effectively: (a) identify the causes of conflict, (b) predict the outbreak of conflict, and, what is more, (c) mitigate that conflict.