Given the record of the US occupation and the profound limitations of America’s present stature, the Barack Obama administration is right to continue to draw down the American presence in Iraq. But in remembering the egregious mistakes of its predecessor the administration should not claim victory as it exits. It should not, as Vice President Joe Biden did in the midst of the de-Ba’athification crisis, claim all is well in Baghdad. A more honest and realistic approach would recognise the impossible legacy left by the Bush administration. The damage the previous administration did so much to encourage would then be minimised with the help of US allies and multilateral organisations. In short, after seven years of American occupation, it is time to go home.
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.
Within the broader debate over the political economy of statebuilding, the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in fragile and post-conflict settings is increasingly controversial but still understudied. This paper examines the tensions between the good governance agenda currently being implemented in Iraq and the investment dynamics occurring at the country’s national and provincial levels. Drawing on disaggregated data, the paper argues that the flow of FDI is reinforcing destabilizing dynamics in Iraq by increasing levels of inequality, deepening the decentralization process, and undermining internal and external balances of power.
There is a growing body of practice and literature on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in preventing and responding to violence. There is also a lot of excitement and corresponding literature about the role of the internet in non-violent change and democratization. The use of mobile phones, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and user-generated content (UGC) like blogs and YouTube videos in the protests in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as throughout the wider middle-east and North Africa (MENA) region have shown how ICTs can complement and augment the exercise of rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of peaceful assembly. This literature focuses on the use of ICTs before and during conflict, for example in conflict prevention and early warning. What about the use of ICTs in post-conflict situations; after the negotiation of peace agreements? How can ICTs be used in post-conflict interventions; more specifically in post-conflict peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and recovery? What role of can be played here by social media and user-generated content?
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.
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.
Globally, state failure is hugely costly, in terms of lost output and the high costs imposed by failing states on their neighbours. This paper examines the cost of failing states in the Pacific. The Pacific region differs from other regions: since its countries are islands the neighbourhood spillovers that normally generate these costs do not apply. The cost of state failure for an island is much lower than for other states, but state failure is more costly to the state itself, as opposed to its neighbours, if the state is an island. This may be due to the greater openness of islands, implying greater flight of financial and human capital. Because neighbours are not directly affected by state failure in the Pacific, any possible interventions should be centred on the humanitarian concern.
This article is a study of the introduction of local financial management (LFM) to South African policing. Four forms of institutional theory are used to interpret and understand this comparative study. The conclusion of this article is that the deliberate attempt to replicate the English experience in South Africa failed because of the different ideologies and value-laden beliefs that underlay the need for change and the different dynamics of power of the interest groups that were represented in the organizational structure. The taken-for-granted organizational processes that supported the implementation of LFM in English police forces impeded implementation in South Africa.
A pluralistic model rather than a single institutional perspective is shown to be beneficial in understanding institutional impacts on organizations. In particular, different perspectives help in an understanding of how culturally derived norms of behaviour can be in tension with formal rules and how the formal structure must be adaptive to the environment and culture within which people cope with uncertainty by relying on established routines.
Countries emerging from civil war attract both aid and policy advice. This paper provides the first systematic empirical analysis of aid and policy reform in the post-conflict growth process. It is based on a comprehensive data set of large civil wars and covers 27 countries that were in their first decade of post-conflict economic recovery during the 1990s. The authors first investigate whether the absorptive capacity for aid is systematically different in post-conflict countries. They find that during the first three post-conflict years, absorptive capacity is no greater than normal, but that in the rest of the first decade it is approximately double its normal level. So ideally, aid should phase in during the decade. Historically, aid has not, on average, been higher in post-conflict societies, and it has tended to taper out over the course of the decade. The authors then investigate whether the contribution of policy to growth is systematically different in post-conflict countries, and in particular, whether particular components of policy are differentially important. For this they use the World Bank policy rating database. The authors find that growth is more sensitive to policy in post-conflict societies. Comparing the efficacy of different policies, they find that social policies are differentially important relative to macroeconomic policies. However, historically, this does not appear to have been how policy reform has been prioritized in post-conflict societies.
This paper incorporates export price shocks into the analysis of the effect of aid on growth. Previous analysis of the aid-growth relationship by Burnside and Dollar found that aid is more effective in raising growth the better are policies. However, this result has been criticized for being sensitive to choice of sample and for neglecting shocks. We construct export price indices using the approach pioneered by Deaton and Miller. We locate shocks by differencing the indices, removing predictable elements from the stationary process, and normalizing the residuals. Extreme negative shocks are the bottom 2.5% tail of this distribution. Introducing these extreme shocks into the Burnside Dollar regression, we find that they are highly significant: unsurprisingly, extreme negative shocks reduce growth. Once these shocks are included the Burnside and Dollar results become robust to choice of sample. Further, the adverse effects of negative shocks on growth can be mitigated by offsetting increases in aid. Indeed, targeting aid towards countries experiencing negative shocks appears to be even more important for enhancing aid effectiveness than targeting aid to countries with good policies. However, we show that to date donors have not in aggregate used aid for this purpose.
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.
After more than a decade of experience and research on financing arrangements in post conflict countries and fragile states, a consensus has emerged on at least one matter. The core objective is to build effective and legitimate governance structures that secure public confidence through provision of personal security, equal justice and the rule of law, economic well-being, and essential social services including education and health. These governance structures are necessary to ensure that countries do not turn, or turn back, to violence as a means of negotiating state-societal relations. This paper discusses a number of the weaknesses in current financing arrangements for post conflict countries and fragile states, with a focus on Official Development Assistance (ODA). We argue that tensions persist between business-as-usual development policies on the one hand and policies responsive to the demands of peace building on the other. The preferential allocation of aid to ‘good performers,’ in the name of maximizing its payoff in terms of economic growth, militates against aid to fragile and conflict-affected states. If the aim of aid is redefined to include durable peace, the conventional performance criteria for aid allocation lose much of their force. Compelling arguments can be made for assistance to ‘poor performers’ if this can help to prevent conflict. Yet the difficulties that initially prompted donors to become more selective in aid allocation remain all too real. Experience has shown that aid can exacerbate problems rather than solving them.
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.
This article argues that the mixed tribunals of Sierra Leone and Cambodia provide important lessons about the problems and dilemmas in achieving the legitimacy that is necessary for transitional justice mechanisms to have a positive local impact. High hopes have been held for the mixed model, but experiences show that this model is no easy fix to the legitimacy problems faced by the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. By locating a tribunal in the post-conflict setting, new dilemmas of legitimacy may arise. This article suggests that transitional justice mechanisms should strike a balance between backward-looking and forward-looking justice, and between international and national participation in the tribunals, but this is not done by simply locating a tribunal in the affected country.
Increasing emphasis is being given to truth commissions in efforts to achieve transitional justice goals, including the establishment of a collective memory, democracy and reconciliation. Truth commissions alone cannot guarantee that these goals will be met, however. The authors of this article believe that the media also has a definitive impact on the process. Indeed, how the media portrays transitional justice mechanisms, such as truth commissions and trials, often determines how they are received in a postconflict society. Failure to take into account the importance of public opinion during transitional justice processes carries the risk of societal divisions being reinforced, which appears to have been the case in Peru. The authors argue that, for this reason, attention should be paid to establishing a constructive societal dialogue, which is often most possible through attention to the reform and support of the local media. Although a national dialogue may not always result in an agreed-upon collective memory, it is arguably a prerequisite. The media plays an important role in this endeavor and may ultimately encourage or hinder reconciliation and the recurrence of conflict.
How do rule of law programs contribute to conflict management? What strategies best address the challenges to securing the rule of law in fragile countries? What place do rule of law policies have in efforts to achieve stable and equitable development? This book addresses these fundamental questions, analyzing rule of law programs in the context of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding activities.
One of the key challenges arising from the recent increase in international involvement in post-conflict situations has been to establish security and to transfer responsibility to local institutions in ways compatible with principles of ownership, accountability and economic sustainability. While there is no lack of prescriptions for security transitioning, there has been little analysis of past efforts. The author suggests a list of criteria for the evaluation of success and failure of security sector reconstruction and reform in post-conflict situations. He also describes various dilemmas for external actors and concludes with a hypothesis on how the behaviour of external actors influences success and failure of security sector reconstruction and reform.
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.