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Violence and the State$
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Matt Killingsworth, Matthew Sussex, and Jan Pakulski

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097027

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097027.001.0001

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Violence and the contestation of the state after civil wars1

Violence and the contestation of the state after civil wars1

Chapter:
(p.128) 6 Violence and the contestation of the state after civil wars1
Source:
Violence and the State
Author(s):

Jasmine-Kim Westendorf

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719097027.003.0007

The proliferation of civil wars since the end of the Cold War and the rise of peace settlements as a way of ending them has given rise to a new phenomenon in nascent post-war states, namely pervasive low-level violence perpetrated by non-state actors that does not threaten the existence of the state, but undermines its consolidation.This chapter explores the use and purpose of non-state violence in post-civil war contexts, with a particular focus on Liberia, South Sudan and Cambodia. It makes an original, critical assessment of the instrumental nature of this non-state violence in contesting the basic structures and authority of the state.It examines the role that elites, including those embedded in new state structures, play in mobilising such violence, and the ends to which they do so. Finally, it considers mechanisms to address violence, and the extent to which they reflect elite interests. It suggests that the extension of a particular type of state-model to new post-conflict states creates a set of incentives for violence that does not contest the basic existence of the state, but rather its interaction with other forms of political power and authority.

Keywords:   post-war violence, civil wars, peace processes, non-state actors, security sector reform, governance reform, Liberia, South Sudan, Cambodia

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