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  • Author: Manuel R. Torres Soriano, Javier García Marín
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Existe un acuerdo casi unánime entre aquellos estudiosos que han investigado la compleja realidad de la guerra: el creciente papel que tiene la gestión de la información pública en el desarrollo de los conflictos bélicos (Libicki, 1995; Alberts et al., 2001, Armistead, 2004). Esta preponderancia se manifestó en algunos de los conflictos de la década de los noventa, como la llamada Guerra del Golfo, y en los de la antigua Yugoslavia y Kosovo. A pesar de que en ellos la gestión de la información jugó un papel destacado en la estrategia de los contendientes, el desenlace de estos conflictos estuvo vinculado a los tradicionales elementos del “poder duro”, según la distinción de Josehp Nye (1990). Sin embargo, en los últimos años, hemos podido asistir a un acelerado incremento de la importancia del componente “inmaterial” de la guerra. La generalización y sofisticación de las nuevas tecnologías de la información, junto con la aparición de una nueva tipología de conflicto caracterizado por la asimetría en la naturaleza y fines de los contendientes, han situado a la dimensión informativa de los conflictos en el lugar central de toda reflexión sobre la naturaleza de las guerras del presente y el futuro.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Maryland
  • Author: Roy Licklider
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to summarize the rapidly expanding literature on civil war outcomes, organizing it around three central questions, all of which remain under debate: (1) what are civil wars, (2) how do we know when they end, and (3) what can outsiders do to help end them and prevent their recurrence? It focuses on the normative and ethical issues involved in negotiated settlements to civil wars: do they reduce violence or not, do they encourage democracy or not, the conflict between amnesty and justice which they often raise, and, if they are seen as desirable, when are they likely to occur and how, if at all, can outsiders support them.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Human Rights, War
  • Author: Barack Obama
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: President Obama gave this address on December 1, 2009 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, War, Armed Struggle, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, New York
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On taking office, Thai Prime Min­­ister Abhisit Vejjajiva pledged to reclaim policy on the southern insurgency from the military. But a year of distracting fights between supporters of the establishment and an ousted populist leader has meant little progress in resolving violence in the South. Despite glimpses of new thinking in Bangkok, the weakness of the government and its reliance on the military for political support have meant the top brass still dominates policymaking in the predominantly Malay Muslim South. Harsh and counterproductive laws remain in force and there are no effective checks on abuses by the security forces. Alternative policies have not been seriously explored and, after a temporary reduction in violence in 2008, the attacks are rising again. It is time for the government to follow its words with actions if it wants to move forward with a political solution.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Conflicts among tribes have claimed several thousand lives in South Sudan in 2009, with the worst violence in and around the vast, often impassable state of Jonglei. Violence often afflicts pastoral communities, but in this area it has taken on a new and dangerously politicised character. With the death toll over the past year exceeding that in Darfur and displacement affecting more than 350,000 people, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) should recognise the primarily local nature of the conflicts, extend state authority and prove itself a credible provider of security lest the problems become major obstacles on the road to self-determination and beyond. International partners must simultaneously step up their support or risk seeing the South become increasing unstable ahead of national elections and the self-determination referendum.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Morten Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Although reciprocal relationships with neighbours and local-level civil servants are of paramount importance to people living on the outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique, they also harbour destructive potentials. In an unstable urban environment built on a presumption of malice, it is consequently important only to reveal what needs to be seen while concealing those facets which might awaken unwanted desires. This working paper examines how residents in a periurban area seek to position themselves at appropriate distances to important but potentially dangerous others. It is argued that house-building constitutes a potent medium for proportioning viable distances so that reciprocal exchanges can be realized without being harmed by presumed greedy and envious others. In particular, the paper explores how house-builders imitate urban norms which state and municipality claim to be using but which they are incapable of implementing. Through such processes of inverse governmentality, illegal occupancy acquires a form of pragmatic legitimacy when appearing to materialise state-defined urban norms.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Macartan Humphreys, James Fearon, Jeremy M. Weinstein
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Can brief, foreign-funded efforts to build local institutions have positive effects on local patterns of governance, cooperation, and well-being? Prior research suggests that such small-scale, externally driven interventions are unlikely to substantially alter patterns of social interaction in a community, and that the ability of a community to act collectively is the result of a slow and necessarily indigenous process. We address this question using a randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a community-driven reconstruction (CDR) project carried out by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in northern Liberia. The project attempted to build democratic, community-level institutions for making and implementing decisions about local public goods. We find powerful evidence that the program was successful in increasing social cohesion, some evidence that it reinforced democratic political attitudes and increased confidence in local decision-making procedures, but only weak evidence that material well-being was positively affected. There is essentially no evidence of adverse effects. *Jeremy Weinstein is on leave from the Center for Global Development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Civil War, Development, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Amandeep Singh Gill
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper describes a “base camp” on the path to the “summit” of nuclear elimination in which the current tradition of nuclear non-use has been strengthened significantly, so that nuclear use and nuclear threats are delegitimized as instruments of national power. Before describing this future world and the steps that could lead up to or beyond it, the paper presents some essential background information on nuclear delegitimization.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author: Mohamad M. Al-Ississ
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper argues that violent events have two economic effects: a direct loss from the destruction of physical and human capital, and a reallocation of financial and economic resources. It documents the positive cross-border impact that follows violent events as a result of this reallocation. Thus, it reconciles the two existing perspectives in the literature on whether violence has a small or large economic effect. Our results show that, in globally integrated markets, the substitution of financial and economic activities away from afflicted countries magnifies their losses. This study evaluates certain factors affecting the impact of violence in non-event countries. Geographic distance from the event country is not monotonic in its effect on the valuation of equities of other countries. Also, the safer a non-event country is perceived to be relative to the event country, the greater the positive impact on its financial market. Finally, event countries with deeper financial markets are less susceptible to capital reallocation following an event.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A year after Israel launched its Operation Cast Lead military offensive on Gaza, on 27 December 2008, little of the extensive damage it caused to homes, civilian infrastructure, public services, farms and businesses has been repaired. As thousands of families still come to terms with loss or injury of their loved ones, they are being prevented from rebuilding their shattered society.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia