Summary Class notes - Civil War and Conflict Studies

Course
- Civil War and Conflict Studies
- M.J. van der Velde, J. van Koppen
- 2017 - 2018
- De Haagse Hogeschool (De Haagse Hogeschool, Den Haag)
- IPM
196 Flashcards & Notes
2 Students
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Summary - Class notes - Civil War and Conflict Studies

  • 1552950000 New wars

  • Why study (civil) war and armed violence?
    In order to adequately handle conflict, we need to understand it.
  • In order to adequately handle conflict, we need to understand it. Why work to solve conflicts?
    • Loss of human lives and development. 
    • Financial costs. 
  • The Spanish civil war lasted from 1936 to 1939. What is a civil war?
    A civil war is a war fought by different groups of people living in the same country.
  • Most wars are interstate. In interstate conflicts the international law is enforceable. Define an interstate conflict:
    Interstate violence is a conflict between two or more states (both members of the international system), who use their respective national forces in the conflict. 

    • Mexican/American war of 1846-1847.   
  • Define intrastate conflict:
    Sustained political violence that takes place between armed groups representing the state, and one or more non-state groups. 

    • Most common form of conflict today.   
  • Define an extrastate conflict: Extrastate = Intrastate + Interstate --> DRC
    A conflict between a state (member of the international system) and a political entity which does not come in the form of a recognized state.
  • Why is data collection important? > Systematically collected conflict data provide lists of ongoing conflicts and also the material to analyse the data for trends and patterns, which in turn is helpful in framing policy.
  • Why is the unemployment rate important for a country?
    The position of young men is important in countries where men are the cost winners, If young men are mostly unemployed, they are likely to revolt. In the worst case, there will be a civil war. Or people will seek their employment in informal (illegal) markets.
  • Define armed conflict:
    A contested incompatibility that concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state, results in at least 25 battle-related deaths in one calendar year.
  • Examples of non-state armed conflict. > El Salvador and Honduras. Define a non-state conflict:
    The use of armed force between two organized armed groups, neither of which is the government of a state, which results in at least 25 battle-related deaths in a year.
  • Define negative peace:
    Absence of war, but injustice and inequalities remain.
  • Absence of war, and injustice and inequalities solved. What type of peace is described here?
    Positive peace.
  • Describe what happens in a persistent conflict:
    Two sides are not interested in winning but rather in economic benefits. War as an enterprise.
  • The new conflicts are often described as internal conflicts or civil wars. Yet, although they are often very local, they cannot be classified as simply "internal", not only do they often involve neighbouring states, but they can be understood in the context of the process we call globalization - increasing global interconnectedness in economic, political and military domains.
  • Social contract. > State provides basic services and is "allowed" a monopoly on legitimate use of violence.
  • Define an old war:
    States against states with soldiers in uniform.
  • Erosion of the states power has two causes. What are those causes?
    1. Integration. > States are increasingly connected, and are more restricted in the use of force. 
    2. Fragmentation. > Structural Adjustment Programmes such as IMF, deregulation, liberalisation. 
  • Political goals. > National or ideological. What kind of war is described above?
    Old war.
  • Political goals. > Identity politics. What kind of war is described above?
    New war.
  • The point is that the lives of individual people are increasingly affected by distant events over which they may have little control.
  • Private armies. When Kings fought wars, they had to raise coalitions of armies from feudal barrons. What is the connected with the United Nations and the Kings?
    The UN has to raise coalitions of national forces when it mounts peacekeeping operations.
  • The end of the 18th century. The state has the authority to use physical coercion.
  • Standing armies helped change the notion of what constitutes as a legitimate war. A new set of rules which replaced the religious injunctions. Later, towards the end of the 19th century, these rules began to be codified under International Law.
  • What was the military thought of the Middle ages?
    Jus ad bello et jus in bellum.
  • In order to finance the old wars, taxation and borrowing had to be regulated.
  • Describe the "Key characteristic" of an old war:
    War was the province of the state and the state alone, and that wars were fought between states for control and territory.
  • Which century was marked by an emergence of total wars, in which mass production and mass propaganda were harnessed for mass distruction.
    20th century.
  • War is a rational instrument of state power. Which point of view is described here?
    Clauwitzen's point of view.
  • The control contrast with old conflicts is the erosion of the state- in particular, the erosion of the monopoly of legitimate organised violence.
  • What is the main goal of the new conflicts?
    Identity politics.
  • The main goal of the new wars are identity politics. What is ment with identity politics?
    The claim to power on the basis of identity, on a label, a nation, religion, language, clan.
  • There are two characteristics of identity politics that derive from the contemporary developments. What are those two characteristics?
    1. Transnational character. 

    2. Salience (opvallendheid) of the electroninc media. 
  • The economy of new wars is almost the exact opposite of the total wars of the 20th century.
  • All resources were mobilised for the war effort. Those wars were totalising and centralistic. What type of war is described above?
    Old war economy.
  • Decentralised. Participation is low and unemployment is very high. Dependence on outside resources is also extremely high. Production is largely destroyed. Apart from a few valuable and often illegal commodities, such as drugs - or in the case of Sierra Leona and Angola, diamonds. Taxes are virtually non-existent. What type of war economy is described above?
    New war economy.
  • Civil wars cannot simply be defined as internal conflicts anymore. > Globalization and interconnectecteness change the structure of a civil war.
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What is the aim of retaliation?
Dealing with the past by avenging (wreken) the past. 
Risks of leading to vicious cycle of revenge attacks. 

  • Anti-FARC militias may account for half the casaulties. 
Paths towards reconciliation. What is the aim of reparation?
The aim is to deal with the past by giving victims compensation for their suffering. 

  • Financial compensation. 
  • Monuments, parts, etc. 
  • Peaky Blinders;).   
What is the aim of the war tribunals?
Aim is to deal with the past by bringing the perpetrators of atrocities to justice. 

  • To establish a culture of law and accountability.  
  • Can be accused of being partisan (victors justice): 
    - Who were put on trial? > Generals.
    - Who were not put on trial? > Bomber Harris. Killed a lot of civilians. 
     
  • Famous example war tribunals. > Nuremberg trials. 
Describe the truth commissions aim:
Aim to deal with the past by taking testimonies and revealing past crimes and abuses. 

  • South-Africa apartheid era.
  • Giving voice to the victims.
  • Giving voice to the perpetrators.


  • Victims can speak for themselves. > Ideal version.
  • ·      Practical problems. But you will have a thrive for         peace. 

  • Harmonising. > Apology of the perpetrator.
  • Perpetrators would say that they have done this.
  • Columbia: Participation creates amnesty for many crimes, in exchange for the truth.
  • Interesting to participate.
  • Columbia tried to have peace courts. However, they can’t enforce it because, they have promise amnesty for the crimes of the FARC members.
  • Truth would be out there but, on what cost? 

  • Columbia: Participation creates amnesty for many crimes, in exchange for the truth.  
Describe the anmesia/forgive and forget approach:
  • Different sides to a conflict decide to move forward without discussing the past: No public reckoning of victims' trauma and no blaming of perpetrators. 

- To prevent revenge, enables perpetrators to accept peace. 
- No preventing effect. 


  • Traumatised family.
    Trauma would be inherited in all generations to come.
    Second World War trauma.
    The relationship with the Germans have been normalised since 10/20 years. Tensions in football matches for example.   
  • Could Columbia forget?
    Taking care of all the wrongs of war.
    10 years. Logical because you want to move on, but is that enough?
    “Individuals do not forget”. Public silence.
    ·Kind of happening.  
      
There are multiple paths towards reconciliation. Name the 6 paths described in the slides:
  • Official amnesia forgive and forget approach. 
  • Truth commissions. 
  • War tribunals/trials. 
  • Reparations. 
  • Indigenous peace initiatives. 
  • Retaliation. 
Does the implementation of justice obstruct the process leading to peace?
Indictment during conflict (for example the ICC) can hamper peace negotiations, as indictees are no longer legitimate political actors.
Changing laws to address structural and cultural violence (inequalities, discrimination). Changing/redistributive in the country. What type of justice is described here?   
Distributive justice.
Rectifying past abuses (compensation, return of stolen goods etc). Hot topic right now. > Museum in the west with colonial art. What type of justice is described above?   
Rectificatory justice.
Rebuilding the legal system after delegitimization and destruction during conflict (institutional reform).   Statebuilding. What type of justice is described here? 
Legal justice/rule of law.