Civil Wars and State Formation: Order and legitimacy during and after violent conflict
Date and Start Time 29 June, 2017 at 14:00
This panel aims at exploring political life and governance during and after armed conflict. Thereby, it proposes to shed light on the social fabric of political legitimacy by looking at the interface and continuities between civil war and post-conflict state-building.
Research on civil wars after the end of the Cold War has mostly focused on the root causes of violent conflict and on the role of rebel groups as warmongers. Recently however, debates have taken a new direction as researchers started to move beyond rebels' motives to wage war against the established order by looking into the day-to-day politics of civil wars. One basic contention of this new stream of research is that civil wars, while being the cause of immense suffering for civilian populations, contribute to shaping and producing political orders. Thus, if we are to understand the dynamics of state-building in the aftermath of civil wars, it is essential to understand processes of state formation through war by studying institutions that regulate political life during conflict.
Against this background, the panel focuses on political orders put in place during violent conflict, on the strategies developed by both state actors and rebel rulers to legitimize their existence and claim to power, and on the extent to which they manage to institutionalize their military power and transform it into political domination. We thereby propose to investigate the social fabric of political legitimacy during violent conflict and analyze how it relates to state formation in the post-conflict phase. To this end, we invite empirically informed papers focusing on the (dis)continuities between political orders established during and after civil wars.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
When Does Rebel Governance Persist? Militarization and Post-Conflict State-Building in Côte d'Ivoire
What explains the post-conflict durability of systems of governance introduced by armed movements? This paper develops a theoretical framework that explains patterns of post-conflict continuity and change in governance. Empirically, it draws on the case of the Forces Nouvelles in Côte d’Ivoire.
While there is now a growing literature highlighting and explaining cross-case variations in the systems of governance established by rebel movements amidst armed conflict (see Mampilly 2011; Arjona 2014), little is known about the persistence of these governing arrangements after the cessation of fighting. Systems of governance constructed by armed movements may become institutionalized and last well into the post-conflict period. Alternatively, they can be quickly dismantled amidst efforts at post-conflict reconstruction. What explains change or continuity? What causal factors account for different trajectories? In response to these questions, this paper develops a theoretical framework that explains variation in the post-conflict duration of rebel governance structures in communities formerly controlled by armed movements. To explain divergent post-war outcomes, our approach emphasizes variations in relationships between rebel leadership and elites within local communities established during the conflict period. This theory is illustrated using the case of Côte d'Ivoire, where the insurgent group Forces Nouvelles (FN) gained and retained administrative control over the northern half of the country between 2002 and 2011. After the end of the conflict, the insurgent administration has been officially dismantled, but in practice, there have been variations across former FN-controlled areas. In some areas, former FN military leaders have lost power to agents of the post-conflict state or other types of elites (traditional leaders, etc.). In other areas however, former FN elements have remained influential: they hold public offices, control illicit armed networks and remain involved in local economic activities. (this paper was developed in co-operation with Giulia Piccolino)
Guerrilla education: teaching a new rebel order in South Sudan's civil wars
This paper explores rebel ideas of governance through a study of an Anyanya and Sudan People’s Liberation Army rebel-run school on the South Sudan-Uganda borderlands over the 1960s-2000s. It argues that African rebel pedagogy provides a new route into wartime ideas of authority, rights and order.
In 2016, new work on conflict studies has called for a renewed focus on rebel governance. But most new research focuses on armed groups' recruitment strategies and violent control of civilians.
This paper takes a broader lens, through a case history of community education in a historic 'rebel territory' on the Uganda-South Sudan border. The organization of education has long been intrinsic to rebel recruitment and mobilization. But unlike research in South America and Southeast Asia, there are almost no studies of rebel-run educational projects in Africa: literature on African education primarily focuses on state education.
Based on new fieldwork and archival research, this paper focuses on a campus near Madi Opei in north-east Uganda, where multiple South Sudanese rebel groups have organized 'rebel' schools and administrative / political training institutes since the 1960s. These guerrilla-teachers' syllabi and curricula were self-made, using various technologies (songs, tape recorders, typewriters and photocopiers), cuttings from international media and human rights reports, and lines and imagery from rebel radio and propaganda, in creative and often subversive ways. This unstudied political pedagogy aimed to make rebel ideas of new political orders, guerrilla administrative structures, and the violent practices and ultimate aims of the civil war legible and learnable to a new generation of 'liberated citizens.'
A Rebel Government During a Civil War: Formation, Regulation and Legitimation of Rebel Institutions in Northern Côte d'Ivoire
This paper analyzes the reformation of public services in the rebel zone of Côte d'Ivoire during the crisis, and the differences between the forms of government and the legitimization processes promoted in each public sector, depending on the regions and the actors involved.
A rebel zone is not a social, political and economic vacuum. This paper draws upon a recent four-months fieldwork research in the former rebel zone in Northern Côte d'Ivoire, ruled by the Forces Nouvelles rebellion between 2002 and 2011. During that period, state institutions were recreated. The articulation of many different actors - rebels, civilians, state and transnational actors - led to a unique rebel government. This government was rooted in the different political historicities of each different rebel region - North, West and Center - but the context of conflict also brought new opportunities and shaped the reformation of the institutions.
By studying the different types of formation and regulation modes in each government sector - such as education or security -, we notice that all sectors were not equally important to the Forces Nouvelles. Rebel leaders had to take into account the presence of the Southern State in the regulation of some sectors, and decided which sector could better serve their own interests. Since international organizations were able to take care of it, Health was considered less important. On the contrary,Education was very important for a functioning school system could contribute to legitimize the rebellion and its leaders on the international level.
Besides, rebels also use civilians' representations and hopes in order to legitimize their leadership among civilians. They drew upon symbols and identities from local and national history that also contributed to shape the reformation of rebel institutions.
The legacy of rebellion in the making of Burundi's post-war political order
The central focus of inquiry in the paper is on how continuities from the wartime past shape post-war legitimacy and power in Burundi. This will be done through analyzing both the local legacies of rebel governance and the post-war symbolic repertoires of the former rebel FNL and CNDD-FDD parties.
This paper explores the legacies of rebellion in relation to the making and contestation of political order in Burundi after the war. Initially, Burundi was lauded as a successful case of liberal peacebuilding in Africa. Today however, Burundi is looked upon as fragile and on the brink of implosion. The paper will argue against overly simplistic explanations of the current political violence as a direct consequence of the rebel past of CNDD-FDD and FNL, Burundi's main parties. Instead, it posits that rebel legacies constitute a complex, multidimensional source of post-war legitimacy. In order to demonstrate this, three particular perspectives on these legacies will be elaborated. First, the paper will look into the retrospective appreciation by citizens in Bujumbura Rural of the wartime FNL presence and rebel governance practices in that area. Secondly, it will be highlighted how the civilian networks of support put in place by the FNL rebellion during the war in the same area, have produced a political counter-elite and continue to bear their mark on everyday politics and local governance. Finally, the paper will look into how the 'charisma of rebellion' has become an important element in the symbolic repertoires on which both the ruling CNDD-FDD and the weakened FNL rely in their competition for power in the post-war political arena. The insights in this paper draw from ethnographic fieldwork conducted since 2010 in Bujumbura Rural, a stronghold of the FNL party, and on ongoing observations of the post-war political landscape in Burundi.
The causes and consequences of wartime indirect rule
The paper analyses the conditions under which ‘indirect rule’ type governance arrangements emerge in contexts of armed conflict and the consequences these have, based on fieldwork and data collected in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Recent literature has shown that the study of armed conflict can be highly informative to understand processes of state building. One of the fundamental choices that states or other military actors face when occupying new territories and populations is whether to administer them by developing novel administrations (direct rule), or by devolving rule to pre-existing local authorities (indirect Rule). The literature on the political and economic legacies of colonial rule has shown that this choice can have far reaching consequences in terms of state capacity and legitimacy, affecting long term development trajectories. Yet the conditions under which indirect rule emerged in the colonial period are very difficult to observe and analyse. Building on the analogy between armed factions in contemporary conflict settings and states in the making, this paper explores the conditions under which indirect rule emerges in contexts of armed conflict, and the consequences that this governance arrangement has on local governance institutions, their capacity and their legitimacy. The paper adopts a historical and qualitative perspective, building on fieldwork and interviews carried out in eastern DRC. It provides a heuristic and theoretical discussion of the strengths and limitations of the comparison between armed factions and proto-states, and develops novel analytical tools to understand 'indirect rule' governance arrangements by armed factions.
L'Etat, le conflit et la réversibilité des sentiments d'inégalité sociale en Côte d'Ivoire : « Ivoirité », « Refondation » et « Rattrapage ethnique » dans l'accès aux ressources
Le concept de « rattrapage ethnique » est dénoncé par une partie de l’opinion nationale. Nous montrons comment dans la formation de l’Etat, en influençant les rapports entre groupes, des idéologies légitiment les pouvoirs, réordonnent l’accès aux ressources et impulsent la dynamique du conflit.
Après une longue période de stabilité sociale et économique, la Côte d'Ivoire a basculé progressivement de la lutte violente pour le pouvoir vers la crise politico-militaire et l'apparition d'une rébellion armée en 2002. De 1993, année de disparition de son premier président, à aujourd'hui sous la présidence de Ouattara, les idéologies politiques ont produit des concepts qui, tout en prétendant réformer l'Etat, ont nourri le conflit et formaté d'une part les relations entre groupes identitaires et d'autre part les rapports de ces derniers à l'Etat. L' « Ivoirité », la « Refondation » et le « Rattrapage ethnique » respectivement sous les régimes de Bédié, Gbagbo et Ouattara ont structuré chez les ivoiriens l'altérité et les sentiments d'insiders et d'outsiders vis-à-vis du partage des ressources de l'Etat. Ces concepts proclamés, promus, assumés ou attribués ont donné lieu à des recompositions subtiles ou explicites de la société ivoirienne dans la sphère politique, la haute administration, l'armée et l'aménagement du territoire. Les effets des concepts ou idéologies sont donc bien réels au-delà des sentiments exprimés par les acteurs selon qu'ils en sont les bénéficiaires ou les victimes. Cette communication se propose, à partir d'analyse documentaire et de collecte de données ethnographiques de resituer ces concepts dans la dynamique du conflit, de montrer leur lien avec la formation continue ou en cours de l'Etat et de procéder à leur mise en perspective dans les enjeux de la réconciliation nationale nécessaire au projet d'émergence prôné par le régime Ouattara.
The politics of local government in urban areas during South Sudan's "inter-war"
This paper discusses the politics of urban administration in South Sudan’s inter-war period (2015-6), arguing that local governments were caught in conflicting principles related to their functions in both waging war and building peace.
This paper discusses the politics of local administration in South Sudan's inter-war period between the signing of the peace agreement in August 2015 and the renewed outbreak of armed conflict in July 2016. While the agreement reduced military confrontations between the army and rebel groups, political tensions at national and local level never eased. This paper discusses how this no-war-no-peace situation was reflected in local politics, drawing on empirical insights collected during research visits to several urban administrations in 2016. Historically, local governments played a key role in both waging war and building peace, respectively mobilizing force and ordering societies, widening the political space to accommodate grievances, and delivering material benefits to local populations in the form of services. In the inter-war period, the politics of local administration were caught in these contradicting principles, as well as in an intensifying ethnicization of local politics upon which both functions of local government inherently relied. The paper shows that this led to a suspension of civic statehood at the local level, characterized by the political capture of institutional structures of the local government by conflicting parties, as well as by a growing reliance on ethnic affiliation in the distribution of resources and the citizens' aversion to formalized rule.
Security Arena - fluid versus stable ordering in the Central African Republic, Somaliland and South Sudan
This paper argues that struggles over stable and fluid ordering in the local arena shape security during and after conflict. It compares nine conflict and post-conflict cases in three African states to investigate ordering through statebuilding, non-state alternatives and international intervention.
In this paper I investigate the ordering struggles that shape local security arenas in the Central African Republic, Somaliland, and South Sudan. The research unveils key factors that escalate and subdue violence during and after conflict. I first compare how actors in nine localities make use of the different natures of the inner and outer parts of the security arena. I then analyse the struggles between fluid and stable ordering along the core dimensions of statebuilding, non-state institutions, and international intervention. Five field trips over three years to nine arenas within three African countries grant detailed knowledge of the security arenas and crucial comparative insights. The arenas range from pre- to in- to post-conflict environments and changed between phases over time. Differences across and even within the investigated localities are compared through the concept of a security arena: Within a non-demarcated space, actors create constellations based on their interactions around security, understood here as the issue of durable physical integrity. Security is the outcome of actors' struggles between fluid and stable ordering within the arena. Insecurity arises through confrontations over what aspects of the arena should be ordered stably and what parts fluidly. Actors pursue the establishment of more fluid or more stable ordering due to the distinct possibilities and assurances each lends. In stable orders, institutions, channels, and hierarchies are fixed. In fluid orders, relations among actors are deliberately left open to constant negotiation. Thus, while stable ordering lends more predictability, fluid ordering creates more modifiability.
From operational to political: NGO co-option by government and opposition forces in the South Sudan civil war
Premised on the importance of NGOs in providing services and stability in their area of operations, this paper explores how these groups are co-opted by government or opposition groups to establish legitimacy both at the local level in South Sudan and in the political negotiations in Addis Ababa.
Numerous studies have pointed to the importance of NGOs in providing basic services in the absence of functioning government institutions. Their day-to-day operations help provide stability to societies and even shape the societal order during and after the war. In South Sudan, the ability of the Government or the Opposition to provide such basic services in their controlled areas is among the many sources of popular support in the on-going civil war. As a consequence, these two parties have often co-opted NGOs to make them their instruments of service delivery and sustain their legitimacy.
The same co-option can be observed in the South Sudan peace talks leading to the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan in 2015. Despite initially having a separate delegation in the IGAD-led peace process, NGOs' independence have been questioned at the latter stages of the talks as they allegedly splintered and allied with government or opposition delegations.
This paper aims first to describe the interactions between NGOs and government or opposition groups at the local operations level since the outbreak of violence in December 2013. It identifies the role of NGOs in maintaining stability in the areas where they operate and the mechanisms of NGO co-option by either government or rebel forces in order to sustain their legitimacy in controlled areas. Second, it explores the possible relationship between local-level dynamics and the co-option observed at the Track 1 negotiations.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.