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Third World Quarterly

From Wars to Complex Political Emergencies: Understanding Conflict and Peace-Building in the New World Disorder Author(s): Jonathan Goodhand and David Hulme Reviewed work(s): Source: Third World Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1, Complex Political Emergencies (Feb., 1999), pp. 13-26 Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Stable URL: . Accessed: 30/10/2011 10:54
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Third World Quarterly, Vol 20, No 1, pp 13-26, 1999


From and






understanding conflict world new peace-building in the

In recent decades the nature of large-scale violent conflict has ABSTRACT fundamentally changed from an era of 'wars' to one that is characterised by complex political emergencies (CPEs). A number of conceptual shifts have occurred in the attempt to better understand the nature of these multiple 'small wars'. Classic analytical frameworks focusing on the relationships between states, military capacities and strategies and international political economy are being put aside for more eclectic frameworks. These draw heavily on social and cultural theory, blend different theoretical elements together to analyse different situations, relate conflict to development and point to the inherent unpredictability of conflict processes and outcomes. This paper reviews these contemporary approaches to conflict and peacebuilding and comments on their implications for external agencies seeking to resolve conflict.

The years after 1989 saw more military operations in more parts of Europe, Asia and Africa than anyone could remember ... since it was often unclear who was fighting whom and why ... these activities did not fit under any of the classic headings of 'war', internationalor civil ... the century ended in a global disorder whose nature was unclear.'

It is clear that the shift in patternsof violent conflict from wars between states to conflicts within states, which began around the middle of the twentieth century, has not been reversed by the end of the Cold War. Of the 82 armed conflicts between 1989 and 1992 only three were between states. More than half of these 82 conflicts had been underwayfor at least a decade.2The l990s have witnessed a further upsurge in internal ethno-nationalist conflicts that has promptedthe intemationalcommunity to dramaticallyincrease its humanitarian assistance.3While death and disablement are a common feature of both classic there has been 'wars' and contemporary'complex political emergencies' (CPES)4 a horrifying shift in the distributionof suffering and nowadays around 90% of casualties are inflicted on civilians.5 The forced movement of civilian populaJonathan Goodhandcan be contacied clo INTRAC,PO Box 563, OxfordOX2 6RZ, UK. David Hulme is based al the Institutefor Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, Crawford House, Precinct Centre, OxfordRoad, ManchesterM13 9GH, UK. 0143-6597/99/010013-12 $7.00
?C 1999



tions because of conflict, as refugees or internallydisplaced persons, has led to more than 22 million people currentlyhaving to flee their home areas.6 Changes in the nature of violent conflict, and the contexts within which it is set, have requiredchanges in the concepts that are used to aid the understanding of contemporaryconflict. Analyses that focused on the relationships between states, on military capacities and strategies, on predicting who would win and who would lose and on internationalpolitical economy have increasingly been replaced by social and cultural analyses that recognise complexity and contingency and that question the feasibility of prediction. This paper reviews of contemporaryapproachesto the understanding conflict and peacebuildingand highlights the continuing importanceof relating the discourse about conflict and peace to the discourse around social and economic development. In its conclusion it argues that new forms of analysis are emerging that are of a different form from those that have previously dominated analysis. They are more eclectic, recognise the need to blend different conceptual elements together in a for mannerappropriate each specific CPE. These frameworkshelp us to appreciate that, at the very best, external interventionscan only build local capacities that may increase the probabilityof peace. Key terms Before exploring analytical approachesto peace building and conflict resolution it is necessary to establish the meanings that are utilised for a number of key terms in this paper. Inevitably, attempts to specify such terms are fraught with difficulty as they mean differentthings to differentpeople and are bound up with distinct moral discourses and political positions.7

Conflict is a struggle, between individualsor collectivities, over values or claims to status, power and scarce resourcesin which the aims of the conflicting parties are to assert their values or claims over those of others. Although this term is often used simplistically and negatively, conflating all conflict with physical violence,8 conflict can also be seen as having a positive dimension as 'normal forms of social interactionwhich may contributeto the maintenance,development, change and overall stability of social entities'.9 From this perspective, conflict 'is only a problem when society cannot represent,manage or resolve its different interests in a productive manner, thus initiating a degenerative or destructive cycle of physical violence'.'0 This is the meaning adopted in this paper. For actors seeking to reduce human suffering or improve the human condition it means that their task is not to prevent conflict (this would be infeasible and often undesirable)but to reduce the likelihood of specific conflicts becoming, or continuing to be, physically violent.

Peace is commonly conceptualised as the antithesis of war, 'the beating of swords into ploughshares', a situation in which physical violence does not 14


have extended the meaning beyond this occur." However, recent interpretations view point of 'negative peace'. For Galtung 'structuralviolence', which manifests itself through structuralinequity and the unequal distribution of power, must also be tackled by actions that foster 'positive peace' (ie reduced levels of both physical and structuralviolence).12 From this perspective peace is not purely about an absence of physical violence but is intimately connected to the analysis and practice of social and economic development. Simplistic dichotomies between peace and conflict must be avoided as 'the habitual association of violence with disorder, and peace with the return of order, is an over3 simplification'.'

A growing number of terms are used to refer to conscious interventions to promote peace in conflict situations. Often these are used loosely and only with partialexplanation.The UN distinguishes between five main modes of intervention. * emergency assistance: humanitarian provision to victims in war; * peace-making: political, diplomatic and sometimes military interventions directed at bringing warring parties to agreement); * peace-keeping provision of peace-keeping military forces, verification (of elections, of respect for human rights, etc) and other techniques used to monitor compliance with agreements and foster mutual confidence; * peace-building: the promotionof institutionaland socioeconomic measures, at the local or national level, to address the underlying causes of conflict; * preventative diplomacy (or conflict prevention): political and diplomatic activity to reduce the likelihood of a conflict escalating into physical violence. The term 'peace-building' has become increasingly common and is often used broadly to mean any activity undertaken with the purpose of preventing, alleviating or resolving violent, or potentiallyviolent, conflict. 'Peace-buildingis the strategy which most directly tries to reverse the destructive processes that accompany violence. This involves a shift away from the warriors,with whom peace-keepersare mainly concerned,to the attitudesand socio-economic circumstances of ordinarypeople. Thereforeit tends to concentrateon the context of the conflict ratherthan on the issues which divide the parties'." Increasingly it is argued that ideas about conflict resolution are unrealistic,because of the limited scope and impact of external interventionsin Africa, Asia and Europe in recent years. An alternative term used by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), for example is 'conflict handling', which encompasses elements of conflict preparedness, preventionand mitigation, but does not extend to conflict resolution.15 However, peace-building is a concept now widely used and expounded by relief and development workers as well as conflict resolution specialists. Several premises underlie peacebuilding as a concept. 15


1. There is an assumptionthat peace requiressocial transformation must be and built over time. 2. Peace encompasses economic, social, cultural, political and humanitarian issues; it is something more than the absence of violence, and includes ideas about sustainable development and social justice.16 3. Peace building is not an event with a precise beginning and end, rather it refers to processes which occur before, during and after violent conflict. 4. Peace building is not a specific activity but a consequence of an activity (defined by its outcome or process). 5. It is based on the premise that societies affected by violent conflict still contain individuals, groups, attitudes and processes that promote peace.'7 Conflicts also generate a 'moral' economy, not just a 'predatory'one. There are instances of civil groups or 'constituenciesfor peace', as for example in Somaliland,who have helped supportand develop a peace process."8 As the term implies, peace is built upon by supporting and nurturingsuch constituencies within civil society.
Complex political emergencies

The term complex political emergency (CPE) is not an analytical tool but a descriptive category which provides a shorthand expression for many, often dissimilar, conflicts. We use the term to denote conflicts which combine the features listed below.
Contflictwithin and across state boundaries.

are a hybrid form of conflict

which is, 'neither purely inter-state conflict, nor confined within the normal institutionalisedrules and proceduresof domestic conflict management'.9
Political origins.
CPEShave political causality. The competition for power and

scarce resources is the central dynamic in social conflicts.211Politics is taken to mean any activities or processes associated with changing or maintaining existing patternsof the distributionof power.
Protracted duration.
CPEShave enduring features. They are seldom temporary

crises after which society returnsto 'normal' levels of physical violence (as the previous generation of development theorists and practitionersoften assumed). Social cleavages. Emergencies are embedded in, and are expressions of, existing social, political, economic and cultural structures.They are all-encompassing, and involve every dimension of society and the lives of the people who are part of them.2' The roots of many CPES lie in relations between enduring identity groups, which do not necessarily correspondwith existing nation-state boundaries. Ramsbotham and Woodhead characterise many modern internal conflicts as a prolongedand often violent struggle by communalgroups for such 16


basic needs as security, recognition and acceptance, fair access to political institutions and economic participation.22
Predatory socialformations.

are often ethno-nationalist in nature, charac-

terised by 'a virulent loyalty to one particularsocial group, accompanied by equally strong feelings of antipathytowardsother social groups living within the same state'.23 Such groups are often mobilised and manipulated by conflict entrepreneursand political opportunists.CPES are frequently fought by militia forces and other armed groups, with little sense of discipline, a poorly defined chain of commandand no discerniblepolitical programme.24 Frequentlythe most violent and unruly elements of society appearin leadershiproles and criminality becomes the political norm. In Afghanistan for example, a war economy has developed around the drugs trade, which means that competing war lords now have a strong vested interest in continuing uncertaintyand conflict. Peace would disruptthe systems of productionand exchange that provide such warlords and their followers with livelihoods. Understanding conflict and peacebuilding: levels of analysis There is a variety of different analytical approachestowards understandingCPES and no single explanatorymodel is capable of capturingthe complex reality of their 'rich and unrulyexperience'. Multiple and interconnectedcauses are one of the defining features of CPES. Every conflict is unique, with its own configuration of power, structures, actors and beliefs or grievances. As Richards points out, each conflict needs fine-grainedanalysis and explanation.25 While, for many studies of CPESthe point of departurehas been analysis at the internationaland national levels, there has been an increasingawareness in recent writings of the need to explore processes at the community level. Such 'inside-out' analysis of the roots of conflict has become importantfor several reasons. (a) To counterbalancethe prevalence of internationalrelations-typeapproaches to conflict analysis and their emphasis on global and macro-level factors. Such approachesoften ignore the interconnectednessof community experience with process and events at national and regional levels. This type of analysis tends to confine itself to the role of decision making by leaders and neglects the crucial role that micro-level social processes play in the legitimisation of violence and conflict. (b) There is a need for the 'fine-grained' analysis of war, as conflicts have become more varied and locality specific.26As de Waal notes, in his studies of the CPESin Sudan and Zaire, there has been a decentralisationof warfare with locally specific types of military organisation, the creation of proxy forces and local level innovation in military techniques.27 This points to the need for detailed contextual analysis and an exploration of the local dynamics of CPES, if one is seriously attempting to understandwhy high levels of physical violence are occurring. (c) In contemporaryconflicts, 'the community' representsthe nexus of conflict 17


action. It is at the community level where contending claims for people's 'hearts and minds' are fought and where most of the physical violence and suffering occurs. Today's battlefield is the city or the village, not the field or the beach. Conflict entrepreneurs have a sophisticated understandingof community level dynamics and institutions and exploit this knowledge to achieve their objectives. For potential peace-builders to compete with the claims of conflict entrepreneurs, build viable constituencies for peace, a and detailed understanding of the 'communities' in which they operate is essential. The analysis of the causes and dynamics of conflict thus demands a framework which integratesboth the macro- and micro-level dimensions of conflict. In the sections that follow we highlight some of the key ideas that have significance in contemporary analysis. We adopt an eclectic approach as one of the clear findings of recent research is that no single overarchingmodel of conflict can capture the great variations between different individual conflicts.

Conflict as process A numberof models of conflict view it as an event ratherthan a process.28The notion that the 'beginning' and 'end' of a conflict can be identified, as was the situationin classic wars, with official declarationsof the times of conflict starting and ceasing, is inappropriate contemporaryCPES. Conflict is a social process for in which the original structural tensions are themselves profoundlyreshapedby the massive disruptions of CPES. Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are both good examples of how conflicts can mutate, and issues which lead to the emergence of large-scale violence are not necessarily those which cause its intractabilityor longevity.29As Tilly argues, 'war is a form of contention which creates new forms of contention'.30Even when the violence is 'over' continued efforts at peace building will be needed to reduce the likelihood of renewed conflict. The recognition that conflict is a process has led to ideas from the naturaland social sciences (such as chaos theory, the butterflyeffect, feedback and adaptive change, non-equilibriumsystems and contingency theory) increasingly entering the conflict discourse. Postmodernist,or post-Newtonian approachesto conflict analysis mean recognising that conflict is seen less as the outcome of a predictable linear pattern of causes and effects and more as a result of combinationsof contingent factors.31 conflict there are periods and regions of In stability mixed with instabilityand the boundariesof a conflict are changeable.32 The capacity of agencies seeking to build peace is contingenton them being able to understandand affect the underlying dynamics of conflict. They need to be able to recognise and respond to the 'critical thresholds' in a conflict when alternativeoptions presentthemselves;33 these may include opportunitiesto build peace as well as the threat of degenerationinto renewed hostilities. They also need to be able to recognise the stabilising points which may emerge from the chaotic conditions;these may be indigenous institutionswithin civil surrounding society around which a new consensus may emerge.


Political economy perspectives During the 1980s the dominationof neoclassical approachesto economics meant that orthodox economic analysis of CPESviewed them as irrational.'Economists ... often associate sectarianconflicts with pre-capitalismand expect these to fade away with the development of markets, modem technology and capitalist institutions'!35Aggregate consumption and production declines, comparative advantages are lost and capital destroyed: why do people behave so inexplicably? During this time political economic analysis, and particularly that with Marxist roots, was elbowed out of studies of conflict. However, the l990s have seen a numberof writers proposing new ways of understandingconflict from a political economy perspective. Duffield has developed new insights through his analysis of the global processes that contribute to systematic conflict.36 He argues that protractedconflict is symptomatic of new and expanding forms of political economy. Today's conflicts are characterisedby long-term and innovative adaptations to globalisation, linked to expanding networks of parallel (illegal) and grey (semi-legal) economic activity. To better understand such processes Duffield argues for the need to repoliticise the study of internal war and protractedinstability. This work has been complemented by de Waal and Keen who have focused on the internal socioeconomic and political processes underpinningCPES. For these writers conflict is not the irrationalbreaking down of societies and economies: rather, 'it is the re-orderingof society in particular ways. In wars we see the creationof a new type of political economy, not simply the disruptionof the old one'.37 The central contributionof such approacheshas been the elaboration of the functions of conflict for different actors. A strict focus on the aggregate economic costs of conflict may make CPES seem irrationalbut, once the 'black box' of conflict economics is opened up, an analysis of the benefits of war, and how these are distributed,reveals quite different findings. 'There is a careful, deliberate strategy behind much of what appearsto be pathological violence'.38 There is ever-increasingevidence of the benefits of conflict for those who use it to achieve economic objectives. In the Sudan, Keen's researchhas highlighted In the tangible benefits that protagonistsderive from fighting.39 Afghanistan,the conflict not only gives warlordscontrol over opium productionand sales but also attemptsto stop narcoticsproductionand creates a context in which international marketingcan have little impact. Atkinson's work on Liberia provides a detailed account of the war economy and the ways in which different factions have sought to control the country's resources, especially diamonds, by fostering violence and conflict.40 While humanitarian concerns rightly focus on the of economic 'losers' in CPESa full understanding any CPE requiresan analysis of the motives, roles and actions of the economic 'winners' of protractedconflict. Conflict entrepreneurs,as well as conflict victims, must be a part of any analytical framework. A recent focus of political economic approacheshas been attempts to extend Sen's work to analyse how conflict modifies the entitlements and coping strategies of conflict victims.41Entitlementtheory marginalised the role of war and violence in its analysis of famine by not recognising the relationship 19


between famine and violations of legality.42Stewart& FitzGeraldhas sought to overcome this weakness in the entitlementframeworkby adding the concept of 'non-entitlement'(acquiringcommodities by breakingthe law) alongside direct, Non-entitlements include income gained by market and public entitlements.43 raiding, protection rackets, trade in illegal drugs, kidnappingand the diversion of relief supplies. Non-entitlements provide a means of understandinghow certain actors and groups find that the costs of war (especially losses of direct, market and public entitlements) can be more than compensated for by the opportunitythat conflict creates for increased access to non-entitlements. Social relations perspectives While many CPES can be understoodas 'resourcewars' this approachoffers only of a partialinterpretation the dynamics of conflict in most cases. Richardspoints to Sierra Leone as a warning not to disregardthe complexity of historical and sociological detail when thinking about post-Cold War conflict.44 Although in a market-driven world economic rationalesare always important,we also need to consider to what extent conflict makes sociological sense.45Hunger for a social identity and maintaining social order in a disintegrating world have long providedthe groundin which effective political forces can grow.4 The meanings that people attribute to events, institutions, policies, motives and appeals for political supportare as importantas the phenomenathemselves.47Anthropologand ical insights from the likes of Richards,48 Bradbury49 Allen5"have shadowed the political economy perspectives of Keen, Duffield, de Waal and others over recent years. Richards,for example, argues that the SierraLeone war is a terror war fought with local culturalresources and thus a culturallyinformed analysis is essential. Centralto this analysis is an understanding sources of individual of identity and how these relate to collective identities-ethnicity, religion, kinship, age and gender thus become central to the analysis of CPES. In the paragraphs that follow we briefly focus on gender, on ideas about local level associational life and on the role of human agency.

The recognition that gender relations contributean essential element of analysis has come late to the study of conflict as compared with the study of development. In most work women are rarely mentioned and gender analysis is most markedby its absence. In the last few years, however, writers such as Byrne,5' El Bushra and Lopez52and Large53 have introduced gender analysis into the conflict discourse. This has illustratedthe different ways in which women and men are caught up in struggles over power and resources and the ways in which gender relations may be profoundly altered by conflict. While gender analysis has an economic dimension, for example the economic roles of women and men are often changed in CPES, it also has social and culturaldimensions, for example in the construction and reproductionof the identity of 'warriors'. The latter varies enormously from place to place. In Afghanistanthe warrioris invariably male and the roles of women are to be supportive mothers and wives. By 20


contrast,in Sri Lanka the (LTTE) has developed a feared cadre of female fighters and suicide bombers, while the government deploys female soldiers at militarycivilian interfaces as part of its 'hearts and minds' tactics. of Studies of gender in CPEShave pushed forwardour understanding the many roles of women in conflict. Women are not simply victims, as has commonly been assumed, but are also active agents: this ranges from being effective perpetrators violence and fearless combatantsto being the main force behind of initiatives to promote peace.:4 A gendered analysis of conflict offers increased insights into possible entry points for the 'smart relief' that might make the likelihood of peace less distant.55
Mutual Trust, cooperation and social capital

Much recent work has focused on identifying and understandingthe roles of grassrootssocial organisationswith a view to providing external supportto these more effectively in the future. Anderson and Woodhead explored the capacities conflict;50 subsequently and vulnerabilitiesof communities affected by protracted Anderson built on this work to see how third party interventions can assist non-conflictual community action during CPES.57 Her work and that of others58 illustratesthat, even duringthe most direly violent situations, 'social assets'-the mutual trust and cooperationwithin and between families, kin and neighboursare a crucial resource for survival and offer opportunitiesfor building peace in the future. Only recently, however, has the literatureon conflict and peace59 that has become a feature of the begun to explore the concept of social capital60 Whetherthis concept has relevance to the study development studies literature.6' of conflict, and can provide a frameworkfor understandingthe ways in which societies 'fall apart' and/or 'heal' themselves, seems likely to be a focus for research over the next few years. The concept of social capital entered into thinking about development as a result of Putnam's Making Democracy Work. He argues that networks of civic engagement (active involvement in associational life) are principal determinants of development. For Putnamcivic engagementgives rise to social capital-'features of social organisation, such as networks, norms and trust, that facilitate co-ordination and co-operation for mutual benefit'.62 Putnam argues that such norms and networks constitute endowments of capital for societies. Conversely, 'where norms and networks of civic engagement are lacking the outlook for .63 collective action appearsbleak' An importantarea of contention in the debate about social capital is the question of endowments or constructability. For Putnam social capital is an endowment, the product of long-term historical processes that different societies either have or lack. Others argue that social capital is a latent possibility in most contexts waiting to be brought to life by Prior endowments of social capital are not the institutionalentrepreneurship.64 key constrainingfactor; more critical are the difficulties involved in 'scaling up' micro-level social capital to generate solidarityties and societal action on a scale that is politically and economically efficacious.65 of The issue of the constructability social capital is particularlygermane to the discourse on conflict. One might surmise that societies with substantialendow21


ments of social capital have greater civil security and less conflict than those with less social capital. Conversely, a lack of social capital makes conflict more likely, and protractedconflict will undermineand eventually destroy that social capital which previously existed. In Sri Lanka,for example, one might speculate that in the north, the more developed traditionsof civic engagement, compared with the east, have generated social capital which has mitigated some of the impacts of the conflict for the populationthere. In the east, where institutional and social networks have traditionally been less dense, the level of 'social implosion' has been much greater.A key question is whether external intervention can help rebuild social capital and whether a process of 'social compacting' can in turn contributeto a peace-buildingprocess. One could certainly construct the case that conflict entrepreneurs systematically use violence to break down social capital by discouraging civic engagement. Evidently the concept of social capital may provide insights into how communities are affected by and respond to violent conflict. It has already proved useful as it helps us recognise the significance of the way in which economic and political actors interact and organise themselves. However, it is not a concept to be applieduncritically.First, it neglects considerationsof power and second, it ignores the fact that the consequences of organisationor social capital can be negative for many membersof a society, especially those who are relatively powerless.66Social capital for some may imply social exclusion for others. It could be argued that the Sri Lankanconflict has generatednew forms of social capital within the Tamil population which in turn have fuelled and sustained the war. Perhaps, the term 'anti-social capital' could be applied to forms of engagement and networks which do not accrue endowments of capital for the benefit of society as a whole, but foster factionalism. More exploration is requiredinto the processes which determinewhethercivic engagementfosters 'pro-social' or 'anti-social' capital. One could hypothesise that anti-social capital can be whipped up by conflict entrepreneurs relatively quickly (by the use of violence to discourage civic engagement) in comparison to the long-term and incrementalprocess of building up social capital.
Human agency, social structure and conflict

Writers on conflict and peace building take quite different positions on the relative roles of individuals and social structures.For political economists, like Duffield, structuralfactors are of prime importancein understanding conflict; it follows on that conflict resolution will require structuralchange, often at an international or national scale.67 By contrast, writers from a peace studies and Mitchell,69 background,such as Fisher68 place a much greateremphasis on human agency. Individualscan take the decision to be non-violent and this can diffuse through society. The relationshipbetween human agency and social structureis at the heart of social theory and is fundamentalto the understandingof violent conflict. Jabri has pointed out the relevance of structurationtheory as a means of moving divide.70Structubeyond the polarity expressed in the structuralist-individualist ration theory posits that every social interactionis both an interactionbetween 22


individuals and the reproductionof social structures.71 That reproductionmay reproducethe social structurein its previous form or may, in a miniscule way, modify some of the pre-existing features of social relations. Thus 'social change is subject to outcomes determinedby the aggregate effects of human agency'72 and is not simply the product of the predictable evolution of social structures. From this perspective, conflict is both a setting for social action and a product of such action: existing patterns of violence or non-violence can be modified through individual agency, which in turn is itself shaped by structural and institutionalprocesses. Thus, the understandingof conflict requires detailed analysis of the relationship between individuals and structuralfeatures in CPES to tease out the links between the two. The ways in which social structures shape the identities of individuals, and vice versa, is of prime importance.It is evident that in many contemporary conflicts the individual behaviour and actions of 'conflict entrepreneurs'commonly seeks to reinforce ethnic identities so that ethnic structures become the defining feature for individuals and society. In this way higher levels of violence, or the potential for violence, can be generated. Conversely, 'peace entrepreneurs'(Gandhi is the obvious historical example, although his achievements may have been limited) may seek to diffuse ideas and generate 'social energy'73which transformsocial structuresand social relations so that the likelihood of peaceableness is increased. Conclusion During this centurythe natureof violent conflict has fundamentallychanged and, at the risk of oversimplification,we have moved from an era of 'wars' to one of complex political emergencies. Contemporaryconflicts are not events with clear beginnings and ends but are an element of a broader process of social change which is turbulent, discontinuous and the result of combinations of contingent factors. The term CPE provides useful signals about the virtual redundancy of classical conceptual frameworks based on a 'conflict is war' model and the need for new forms of analysis that can deal with the complexity and diversity of contemporaryviolent conflicts. However, the term CPE iS only a label-one might equally talk about 'miscellaneous political emergencies'and in itself does not provide tools for analysis. Such frameworks are only evolving at present but will clearly be of a quite different nature than classical frameworks,be they bureaucratic,Marxist or internationalrelations theories. A more eclectic approachis emerging which blends together different conceptual elements (in Uphoff's parlance that is 'both/and' rather than 'either/or'24) to appropriate a specific conflict and which explicitly recognises that attemptsat understanding(ie the creation of knowledge) are inseparablefrom action. This review indicates that such frameworkswill need to be fine-grained,have a full appreciationof the historicalroots of conflict, must capturethe micro-level dynamics of conflict and peace, will recognise that they are processes not outcomes and could benefit from using ideas about development alongside those of conflict and peace. Conflict has both violent and non-violent dimensions, is inherent in all social relations and can be both a positive and negative force in 23


terms of social change. Improvedanalysis will be essential if efforts to resolve forms which impose the bulk violent conflicts-especially in their contemporary on non-combatantsand which impoverish the present and future of suffering livelihoods of hundredsof millions of people-are to be effective. Such analysis will have a 'political' dimension (examining interstateand state processes), an economic dimension exploring the economic purposes that conflict serves (and looking at 'winners' as well as 'losers') and a sociocultural dimension that recognises the role of cultural resources in conflict. Both human agency and forces interactto foment the escalation of violence or to build broaderstructural peace. Contemporaryconflicts are not merely complex they are, as Johnston and Clarkargued,about agrarianchange and ruraldevelopment, 'messes'.7 They are not specific problems with indentifiablecauses that can be fully understoodand for which 'solutions' can be generated. At best, understandingwill always be partial,contingencies will play havoc with linear notions of cause and effect and predictabilitywill be at low levels. Those who seek to intervenewill need to be truly humble and avoid making the exaggeratedclaims about 'saving lives' and of 'bringing peace' that the logframes76 their financialsponsors often encourage. Competing 'scenarios' about the likely outcomes of intervention are more appropriatethan linear forms of analysis complemented by 'assumptions'. The one feature that CPES may share in common is that ultimately their 'resolution' lies with the societies in which they occur. Those external agents who wish to build peace will need to be 'smart' and recognise that, at the very best, they can only help build capacities that increase the likelihood of peace. 'If war has spreadfrom within, making its own culturalsense as it goes, then the search for peace may have to trace similar paths'.77

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pp 560-562. Human Development Report 1994, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1994, p 47. 3J Borton, 'The upsurge in interest in the "relief-developmentcontinuum":what does it mean?', Relief and RehabilitationNetwork, Newsletter, out, September 1994. 4For a discussion of the meaning of complex political emergency see Section 2 of this paper. 5At the beginning of this century, around90 per cent of war casualties were military. Today, about 90 per cent are civilian-a disastrous shift in the balance'. UNDP, Human Development Report, p. 47. 6 UN1ICR, The State of the World's Refugees. A HumanitarianAgenda, Oxford University Press, 1998. 7S Baranyi, S Kibble, A Kohen & K O'Neill, 'Makingsolidarity effective: Northern voluntaryorganisations policy advocacy and the promotion of peace in Angola and East Timor', CIIR Discussion Paper, London, 1997. 8 Physical violence may be defined as 'any physical assault on human beings carried out with the intention of causing them harm, pain or suffering'. A Arblaster, 'Violence', in W Outhwaite & T Bottomore (eds) The Blackwell Dictionary of TwentiethCentury Social Thought, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993, pp 700-702. 9 L A Coser, 'Conflict', in Outhwaite & Bottomore, The Blackwell Dictionary of TwentiethCentury Social Thought, pp. 103-105. 10 M Kapila, Conflict Handling in the Aid Programme, Conflict Unit, Emergency Aid Department (DFID), version no. 4, London, 1996. R C Ogley, 'Peace', in Outhwaite & Bottomore, The Blackwvell Dictionary of Twentieth Century Social Thought, pp 450-451.


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T Allen, In Search of Cool Ground: War, Flight and Homecoming in Northeast Africa, London: UNRISD, 1996. 5 B Byrne, 'Towards a gendered understandingof conflict' IDS Bulletin, 27(3), 1996. 52 El Bushra & Lopez, Development in Conflict. 53 J Large, The Workof Generations. Gender Analysis and Future Policy Directions: Exploratory Thoughts, a discussion paper for the CODEP Working Group on Gender and Conflict, Oxford, 1995. 54 I Smillie, 'Sierra Leone'. Preliminarymaterial and interim research results were circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. 55 Richards, Fighting for the Rain Forest. 56 M Anderson & J Woodhead,Rising from the Ashes: Development Strategies in Time of Disaster, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1988. 57 Anderson, 'Do no harm'. 58 Stewart, 1997, op cit. 59 J Goodhand & D Hulme, 'NGOS and peace building in complex political emergencies: an introduction', WorkingPaper No 1, University of Manchester,IDPM, 1997. 6( R Putnam with R Leonard & R Y Nanett, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princetown, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993. 61 P Evans, 'Governmentaction, social capital and development: reviewing the evidence on synergy', World Development,24(6), 1996; J Hiarriss R Pole, 'Missing link or analyticallymissing? The concept of social & capital. An introductory bibliographic essay', Journal of International Development, 9(7), 1997, pp 919-938; D Naryan & A Pritchett 'Cents and sociability: household income and social capital in rural Tanzania', Working Paper, World Bank, WashingtonDC, 1996; and E Ostram, 'Constitutingsocial capital and collective action', in R Keohane & E Ostram (eds), Local Commons and Global Interdependence, London: Sage, 1995. 62 Putnam, Making Democracy Work. 63 D North, Institutions,InstitutionalChange and Economic Performance,Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press, 1990. 64 Evans, 'Governmentaction, social capital and development'. 65 Ibid. 66 Hiarriss Pole, 'Missing link or analytically missing?'. & 67 M Duffield, 'The political economy of internal war: asset transfer,complex emergencies and international aid', in Macrae & Zwi et al., War and Hunger: RethinkingInternationalResponses to Complex Emergencies, London: Zed Books, 1994. 68 R Fisher, 'Third party consultation as a method of intergroup conflict resolution', Journal of Conflict Resolution, 27(2), 1983, pp 301-334. 69 C Mitchell, The Structureof International Conflict, London: Macmillan, 1981. 70 Jabri, Discourses on Violence. 71 Anthony Giddens, The Constitutionof Society, London: Polity Press, 1984. 72 T Spybey, Social Change, Development and Dependency, London: Polity Press, 1992, p 3. 73 Uphoff, Learningfrom Gal Oya. 74 Ibid. 75 B Johnston & C Clark, Redesigning Rural Development, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982. 76 Many relief and development agencies now require a formal logical framework analysis (LEA) from 'partners'seeking to intervene in CPES. For a general discussion of logframes, see Overseas Development Administration,A Guide to Social Analysis for Projects in Developing Countries, London: iIMSo, 1995. 7 Richards, Fighting for the Rain Forest, p. 3.