Towards evidence-based post-war reconstruction

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MÄDL, Anna, 2010. Towards evidence-based post-war reconstruction [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{Madl2010Towar-10492, title={Towards evidence-based post-war reconstruction}, year={2010}, author={Mädl, Anna}, note={teilweise erschienen in: E. Martz (Ed.): Trauma and Rehabilitation after War and Conflict: Community and Individual Perespectives. New York: Springer (pp. 177 - 214)}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

application/pdf terms-of-use The three articles, which we present here will shed light on three issues that evolve around the question, how we can better understand violent conflict in sub-Saharan Africa and what can be done to help countries to manage the transition from war to peace.<br />The first article focuses on an important methodological problem. Failed states are an obvious challenge to human security and the stability of the sub-continent. Therefore, several state-building initiatives have taken place, but they have since shown little success. One reason for this is that the concept of state failure itself is not understood. It is defined by the absence of a central state authority, which would hold the monopoly of power and provide public goods. There is however, a lack of causal models of how violent conflict and state failure relate to each other. Furthermore, the impact of state failure on local communities is under researched. Humanitarian relief workers have therefore, little evidence to rely on in addressing state failure.<br />Most of the research on the phenomenon uses the state itself as the unit of analysis to understand its collapse. That means macro-level indicators such as child mortality rates and the GDP are scrutinized. However, macro-level data cannot account for the heterogeneity of local realities and are therefore ill suited to understand new wars as described above. This has caused a trend in International Politics to move towards the micro-level to study violent conflict. This paradigm shift is also needed to understand state failure and design interventions. This is crucial, because the macro-level vantage point overlooks local variability. These local variations could, however, be opportunities or important challenges towards state-building. While available datasets employ newspaper articles and news services as their sources of information, the first article goes one step further. We present unique micro-level data, which was gathered in more than 8000 individual interviews with active Somalia militia. Supported by a descriptive analysis of this data, we can show, that there are substantial local variations in state failure. These are only to some extent reflected in indicators, such as the level of health and education, which are often employed in aggregated studies of state failure. We find the main differences with respect to regional variation in distinctive types of armed groups, reasons combatants reported to join these groups, trust or mistrust they have in local authorities and habits of substance consumptions.<br />The second article addresses war-time sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With respect to war-time sexual violence there are many competing theories, which aim to explain this behavior. Biological theories argue, that men have a natural tendency towards rape, which will inevitably play out in a war context, where such behavior is not avenged. Theories focusing on armed groups as a whole, on the other hand, make the case, that rape is used as a deliberate strategy.<br />The UN and many NGOs have labeled sexual violence in the Eastern DRC a weapon of war and called its use strategic. These claims are crucial as they imply, that sexual violence in the Eastern DRC are not only crimes perpetrated by individuals, but under these circumstances, would constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. We found, that from the perspective of the victims, sexual violence is not only a part of the war, but it is the war itself. For the interviewed women rape was the very modus operandi of war.<br />The third article focuses on specific post-war intervention: Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). DDR plans are a crucial part of today s negotiated peace agreements. Vast amounts of emergency aid and development money are being allocated to DDR programs. The success of these programs has, however, often been limited and reintegration remains their weakest point. Furthermore, there is as of now almost no evidence-base for either standard reintegration interventions or interventions for vulnerable groups.<br />Reintegration is hardest for (former) combatants, who suffer from mental impairment and psychological disorders. Many combatants have survived multiple traumatic events, experience depression, suicidal ideation, and substance dependency, which may result in psychotic symptoms. Mentally impaired former combatants should therefore be treated as a vulnerable group within DDR programs. Often they cannot profit from standard reintegration tools. 2010 Mädl, Anna eng Beitrag zu evidenz-basiertem Nachkriegs-Wiederaufbau 2011-03-25T09:18:19Z Towards evidence-based post-war reconstruction 2011-03-25T09:18:19Z Mädl, Anna

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