Dissertation: Peacebuilding, Political Order, and Post-War Risks
Since 1945, violent conflict has occurred primarily within sovereign states rather than among them. These internal conflicts have far surpassed international conflicts in lethality, economic destruction, and social upheaval. Intense violent conflicts often leave core state institutions debilitated, fragmented, or, in some cases, totally destroyed. For these societies, the central tasks for ending conflict and beginning post-war recovery involve reinvigorating or reestablishing legitimate state authority. These post-war states must both win the acquiescence of the governed and develop the infrastructural power to implement state policy. The immediate post-war environment is therefore particularly critical for determining the political, economic, and social trajectories of conflict-affected countries. The right combination of policies can help determine whether a country recovers quickly and secures any available peace dividend, or whether it relapses and slides into a conflict trap. This dissertation explains how societies that have managed to end their civil wars are able or unable to rebuild political order in the their post-war period.