1-2/2005 Content

80 (2005) 1-2: Post-Conflict Peace-Building

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Volker Rittberger

Making peace: Peacebuilding und peacebuilders
Ulrich Schneckener

The recent debate about the UN Peacebuilding Commission can be regarded as evidence for the prevaling relevance of post-conflict peacebuilding. During the past 15 years, peacebuilding became indeed a „booming enterprise“ of the international community, be it with mixed results. This article provides an overview of the peacebuilding approach, it distinguishes various strategies, including their risks and unintended side-effects, as well as types of peacebuilding operations. Moreover, the article points to the typical dilemmas and challenges faced by external peacebuilder at two levels – first at the fieldlevel, second at the level of capitals and headquarters. The conclusion is that the gap between these two levels is enormous and that peacebuilder have serious difficulties in fulfilling the demands of both levels adequately.

Post-Conflict Peacebuilding – International Legal Aspects of Consolidating Peace in Post-Conflict Societies
Stefan Oeter

The problems of ´precarious´ or failing states have become a central focus of international politics. Most of the recent UN-peace missions constitute attempts of ´post-conflict peacebuilding´, i.e. attempts to react to phenomena of degenerating and eroding statehood. The outcome of these missions is rather mixed. International law has managed in the course of a complex learningprocess to develop more or less reliable legal and institutional structures of ´post-conflict peacebuilding´. Many problems remain unsolved, however. Primary concern here is the fundamental issue of the legal legitimation of any attempt to restructure a state in the course of an external peacebuilding intervention As long as this basic question has not found an agreed answer, it will be difficult to identify clear legal limits to the scope of external intervention in the political self-organization of the polities concerned.

International Initiatives to curb resource conflicts and “new wars”: An Overview
Wolf-Christian Paes

Since the mid-1990s the international discussion about the role of natural resources in financing conflict has been prominent in the analysis of civil wars, particularly in the so-called ‘Third World’. However, only recently the question has been asked what the international state community as well as civil society could do to curb these kinds of conflicts. The article gives an overview about recent trends in the development of regulatory mechanisms short of armed ‘humanitarian’ intervention. Roughly, there are three kinds of initiatives: Those which aim to change the behavior of private consumers and corporations through the development of codes of conducts, sanctions imposed by the international community, and the attempt to put income generated by certain sectors under international supervision. Whereas the weakness of many of these mechanisms lies in their largely voluntary nature, a new dimension of conflict resolution could stem from the increasing cooperation between state institutions and civil society.

Creation of multi-ethnic police forces in the Balkans. Success story with reservations.
Thorsten Stodiek und Wolfgang Zellner

The mandates of the UN, OSCE and EU peacebuilding missions in Kosovo, South Serbia and Macedonia are based on the double assumption that it is possible to set up functioning multi-ethnic police forces in ethnically divided postcivil war societies, and that they can then make a significant contribution to inter-ethnic pacification. This article assesses both assumptions and, based on its own comprehensive survey, investigates which factors determine the success or failure of the development of multi-ethnic police forces in the Balkans. The article shows that it is possible to successfully establish multi-ethnic police units in a relatively short period of time, but that full operational readiness, which is the prerequisite for creating trust among different ethnic groups, can only be attained via extensive professionalization measures.

“The Truth Heals”? Gacaca Jurisdictions and the Consolidation of Peace in Rwanda
Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Against the backdrop of a growing interest in consolidating pece establishing the truth about war crimes and prosecuting the offenders has recently gained in prominence. The paper asks what role truth and justice play in war-torn societies and if and how they contribute to the consolidation of peace. To illustrate the argument, it draws on the indigenous village tribunals gacaca in Rwanda, which attempt to contribute to justice and reconciliation through revealing the truth about the 1994 genocide. Based on an extended interpretation of the notion of truth, the article offers a rather pessimistic assessment and argues that their peace consolidating potential depends on what kind of truth and justice are elicited.

Further Article

Private Sicherheits- und Militäranbieter im Dienste westlicher Demokratien: Die Bürgerkriege in Bosnien-Herzegowina uns Sierra Leone.
Martin Binder

Private security and military services—so-called “Private Military Companies (PMC)”—were widely ignored as important actors in international politics. However, PMCs are of increasing interest in political science in light of both the debate over the emergence of “new wars” and, especially, in light of recent media reports over the role of such companies in the current war in Iraq. This article explores why (democratic) governments introduce private military companies when they intervene in civil conflicts. It argues that Western democracies must deal with contradictory demands when confronting such situations. While liberal norms foster support for intervention in humanitarian crises, cost-benefit calculations often make these states reluctant to intervene in regions of little geo-strategic importance. PMCs help ameliorate this dilemma by responding to the humanitarian impulse “to do something,” while also reducing the financial, military and political risk of intervening. This argument is illustrated by considering the introduction of the American (private security) firm, MPRI, in Bosnia and the British firm, Sandline International, in Sierra Leone.


A comprehensive scheme for reparation in instances of gross violations of international human rights
Christian Tomuschat

Through the adoption of resolution 2005/35, the UN Commission on Human Rights has adopted a comprehensive scheme for reparation in instances of gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law. In a first part, the text deals with the civil consequences of such breaches, part two addresses the consequences under criminal law. The first part suffers from excessive generosity, going far beyond what is established under applicable customary law and culminating in a general programme for “good governance” as an expression of guarantees of non-repetition. In the second part, the advocacy of universal jurisdiction raises serious doubts.