Peace, Conflict and Development: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Issue 22

Published: July 2016

Mass Violence as Post-Genocide and the Limits/Potential of Responsibility to Protect

Christopher P. Davey, University of Bradford. Is the concept of Responsibility to Protect fit for purpose in a world where conflict dynamics are fluid and evolving, and global crises, such as climate change, present emerging dangers and anthropological impact? R2P, framed in response to what were conceived as typical, formative episodes of genocide (Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda) is exclusionary to emerging forms of violent conflict, impacting the concept’s ability to respond to such variations of mass violence. This paper uses Mark Levene’s global systems analysis of “post-genocide” to describe violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo thereby discussing and identifying the limitations of R2P as it is currently conceptualized. This paper will explain the emerging phenomena of post-genocide as an outcome of state responses, or the lack thereof to political, economic and climate crises, the systemic mismatch of R2P aspirations for holistic approaches to gross violations of human rights. It will be argued that R2P must reconsider its scope for the object of responsibility and push for new international consensus that incorporates the trends of post-genocide. Understanding climate change and civilian protection as associated conflict prevention dynamics can carry forward the work of R2P.

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Shaping peace: an investigation of the mechanisms underlying post-conflict peacebuilding

Julia Leib, Goethe University. What shapes peace, and how can peace be successfully built in those countries affected by armed conflict? This paper examines peacebuilding in the aftermath of civil wars in order to identify the conditions for post-conflict peace. The field of civil war research is characterised by case studies, comparative analyses and quantitative research, which relate relatively little to each other. Furthermore, the complex dynamics of peacebuilding have hardly been investigated so far. Thus, the question remains of how best to enhance the prospects of a stable peace in post-conflict societies. Therefore, it is necessary to capture the dynamics of post-conflict peace. This paper aims at helping to narrow these research gaps by 1) presenting the benefits of set-theoretic methods for peace and conflict studies; 2) identifying remote conflict environment factors and proximate peacebuilding factors which have an influence on the peacebuilding process and 3) proposing a set-theoretic multi-method research approach in order to identify the causal structures and mechanisms underlying the complex realm of post-conflict peacebuilding. By implementing this transparent and systematic comparative approach, it will become possible to discover the dynamics of post-conflict peace.

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Reconciliation: a critical approach to peacebuilding in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Louis Monroy Santander, University of Birmingham. This paper studies reconciliation as a source for critically viewing post-conflict peacebuilding and its impact on state-society relations after state-building processes. As traditional peace-building focuses on liberal formulas, it has been criticised for lacking legitimacy and withdrawing from everyday life. Looking at peacebuilding through a reconciliation perspective contributes to the liberal critique by looking at how reconciliation has been identified by peacebuilding agents in Bosnia who have worked during the state-building process. The present paper is based on interviews in Bosnia-Herzegovina through fieldwork during July 2014, a qualitative study that compares the understanding of reconciliation between different peacebuilders (international agencies, leaders of NGOs and grassroots organizations) and the obstacles identified as key for reconciliation in post-war Bosnia.

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Disarming, Demobilising and Reintegrating Whom? Accounting for Diversity Among Ex-Combatants in Colombian DDR

Mia Schöb, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. This paper contributes to understanding how the Colombian Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process accounts for a highly diverse ex-combatant population, whose composition will become even more diverse following the prospective peace agreement with the FARC. Analysing Colombian DDR discourse and practices through a gender and diversity-sensitive securitisation lens, I enquire how policymakers, academics, and practitioners understand diversity among ex-combatants, and how this understanding translates into reintegration practices. The analysis unpacks general de-securitisation of all ex-combatants, however with different discursive logics along the lines of diversity. Revealing a nuanced strategy of male de-securitisation in Colombian DDR discourse, the findings contrast with previous studies on gender and DDR. At the same time, this work demonstrates the added value of a more holistic approach to diversity for understanding patterns of inclusion and exclusion in Colombian DDR. In a more policy-oriented discussion, it further points to inter and intra-institutional dynamics that undermine an effective implementation of existing programmatic approaches to gender and diversity in DDR.

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Successful intervention? Critical reflections on the legacy of British military intervention in Sierra Leone

Lucy Scott, University of Bradford, ORCID http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3808-2318. The estimated ratio of civilian to military deaths in intrastate conflict numbered 9 in 10 at the end of the 20th Century. This implies a salient need for humanitarian intervention in order to alleviate human suffering. However, military intervention for humanitarian purposes, a manifestation of the Responsibility to Protect, remains a contentious issue within security studies as much debate surrounds the legitimacy of an international body holding sovereign states accountable for abuses of its citizens. The decade long conflict in Sierra Leone is often cited as one of the most brutal in recent history and the subsequent British military intervention hailed as a success story by the international community. In the context of British politics it is often referred to as Blair’s successful war, politically justified by his foreign policy with an ethical dimension. However, the ethics of this intervention remain contentious, having displayed clear unilateralism and partiality. In addition, relatively little extensive research has been conducted into the long-term effects of military intervention for humanitarian purposes on peacebuilding and stability, with the majority instead focussed on the immediate structural and theoretical level. As a result there exists a significant gap in knowledge. This paper reflects on the legacy of a “successful” unilateral military intervention and seeks to make an original contribution to these current voids in literature. The implications for the Responsibility to Protect, as well as the domestic and global legacy resulting from the British intervention, will also be discussed.

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