Post-war Conflict and the Market for Protection

Today the journal International Peacekeeping published my article on post-war conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You may find a free link to the e-print version here (up to 50 clicks). Here’s a few excerpts…

page 1 “Despite good intentions, international conflict reconstruction efforts sometimes generate the opposite effect of invoking more, rather than less, military violence … [S]uch ambiguous outcomes encourage analysts to take seriously the agency of violence in post-conflict societies, rather than assuming a teleological improvement from violent conflict to non-violent peace.”

page 2 “To know how ‘war economies’ transform into ‘peace economies’ (or not) … one needs to gather an in-depth understanding, not only of how elite interests may shift from war to peace under certain conditions, but also how such processes play out geographically at different scales.”

page 2 “… [T]he ability of armed groups to become legitimized partners in today’s war-to-peace transitions depends to a significant extent on their ability to transform their rule structures from coercion- to capital-based operations, in other words: they need to combine a strong and autonomous relationship to capitalist markets with the ability to expand violent accumulation mechanisms to the national and regional level.”

page 14 “Rather than uncritically accepting … hybrid governance arrangements, academics and policy makers might do well to pay more attention to the struggles … war-to-peace transitions generate over the right to govern in environments characterized by violent political competition… [T]he association of political protection to territorialized capital gains that is inherent in [such transition processes] risks becoming an incentive for violent territorial control and a radical localization of politics in the longer run, so that ‘peace’ might even open the gate to more ethnic purification and local parochialism…

(p.s the published version contains a typo: instead of critically it should read uncritically).

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