Contract or War? : An essay on institutional logic in violent conflicts

Korf, Benedikt

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URL http://edoc.vifapol.de/opus/volltexte/2011/2540/
Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: Berghof Forschungszentrum für Konstruktive Konfliktbearbeitung
Schriftenreihe: Berghof occasional paper
Bandnummer: 23
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2003
Publikationsdatum: 17.01.2011
Originalveröffentlichung: http://www.berghof-center.org/uploads/download/boc23e.pdf (2003)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.75 (Internationale Konflikte: Allgemeines), 89.76 (Friedensforschung, Konfliktforschung), 71.65 (Kriminalität als soziales Problem), 89.58 (Politische Gewalt)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

This paper1 reviews several theoretical debates and discourses that shall help to analyse the phenomenon of violent conflict and civil wars. Each line of thinking is utilised in an eclectic manner to distill how and what it can contribute to observe, interpret and explain the emergence of institutional arrangements that govern property rights in zones of violent conflict. Starting with a critical discussion of the dominating greed versus grievances debate, I will review the current debate on state failure and complex political emergencies which seek to explain the current breakdown of state institutions into a kind of anarchic condition. The new institutionalism in the social sciences theorises the evolution of institutions as rules of the game and interprets violent conflict as contractual failure. My interest will be on how this theoretical perspective can explain the evolution of institutions on the local level. The livelihood frame, in turn, allows us to investigate how civilian actors in zones of violent conflicts develop survival strategies and how they utilise networks of social and political capital assets to stabilise their livelihoods and thus shape the evolution of local institutional arrangements. The conflict transformation approach conceptualises the dynamics of social conflict. I distinguish the interest frame from the identity frame and emphasise the role that emotions can play in shaping the process of confrontation and conflict. Subsequently, I will draw some preliminary conclusion: what are the implications of these different debates for the analysis of institutional dynamics and institutional change in civil wars, prior, during and after the actual war.


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