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Legacies of Violence and the Emergence of Statehood after Civil War

Africa
Coalition
War
Peace
Johannes Jüde
Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Johannes Jüde
Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Abstract

States constitute today’s Westphalian world order. Yet, we know surprisingly little of their origin as the formation of states has only been partially and selectively studied. Most research has focussed on the European experience, while non-Western statehood has often been analyzed under the paradigm of state failure and international statebuilding. This paper addresses this key problem and investigates legacies of violence and the emergence of statehood, when rebels have won civil wars. Scholarly work has developed several theories to explain the emergence of states, yet there are two general approaches: Bellicose theories point to competition in war and the organizational imperatives of wielding coercion as key drivers of state formation. Cooperative theories, by contrast, emphasize a coalitional approach in which powerful domestic groups pool their capabilities to erect an order to pursue their interests. When armed movements have won civil wars and state formation follows conflict, in principle, four pathways of post-conflict state formation are possible depending on whether the former rebels dominate the process or retreat: Coalitional state formation led by the former rebels like in Zimbabwe or in Namibia, where ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) or SWAPO (South-West Africa People's Organization) shaped state-making; coalitional state formation without the former rebels like in Somaliland, where the SNM (Somali National Movement) fragmented after the war; and bellicose state formation by the former rebels such as in Eritrea where the EPLF/PFDJ (Eritrean People’s Liberation Front/People's Front for Democracy and Justice) became the state. The fourth pathway, bellicose state formation without the former rebels, can be theoretically excluded. The paper analyzes the three ideal-typical pathways and demonstrates how the legacy of armed movements and violent conflict impacts post-war statebuilding.