GRC Exchange

Home Page
Governance Themes
Political systems
Public financial management & accountability
Service delivery
Safety, security and accessible justice
Cross-cutting topic guides
Information Database
Organisation Database
Training and Events
About GRC Exchange
Email Update
Site Help
Site Map

Governance Themes Information Database Organisation Database Training and Events
Governance Themes Information Database Organisation Database Training and Events

Search the site

Governance Themes Information Database Organisation Database Training and Events
Governance Themes Information Database Organisation Database Training and Events

Search the site

Governance Themes Information Database Organisation Database Training and Events
Governance Themes Information Database Organisation Database Training and Events

Search the site

Reconstruction of the state after conflict

The following list of key texts, which forms part of the Governance Theme pages on 'conflict', explores the reconstruction of the state after conflict. This includes peace processes and peace agreements, rebuilding governance capacity, and a range of donor approaches and interventions.

Page contents

Peace processes and peace agreements

Rebuilding governance capacity

Peacebuilding issues and institutions

Donor approaches and interventions

Key texts: Peace processes and peace agreements

World Bank 1997, From Civil War to Civil Society : the Transition from War to Peace in Guatemala and Liberia, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.
This World Bank report, from a workshop on the transition from war to peace, examines some issues involved in this process, drawing on examples from Guatemala and Liberia. It identifies three phases in the transition: making peace, keeping peace and sustaining peace. The end of violence does not mean the end of conflict it is merely the beginning of this process. A lasting peace requires time and the involvement of civil society. There are no blueprints for post-conflict reconstruction: each situation is unique and a singular approach is necessary.
Full document available online

Key texts: Rebuilding governance capacity

Government functions:

Reilly, B. and Reynolds, A. 1999, Electoral Systems and Conflict in Divided Societies, National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA
This paper, prepared for the National Research Council's Committee on International Conflict Resolution, challenges the assumption that a system that is appropriate for the West can be transplanted into the developing world: transitional democracies have a greater need for inclusiveness and a lower threshold for adversarial politics, while it is appropriate for consolidated democracies to strive for a minimal winning coalition.
Full document available online

UNDP 1999, Governance Foundations for Post-Conflict Situations: UNDP's Experience, UNDP
This paper, from the Management Development and Governance Division of UNDP, is an attempt to take stock of the UNDPs efforts to support acutely vulnerable countries in tackling the fundamental governance dimensions of crisis, and laying solid foundations for sustainable peace, recovery, and development. The importance of governance, and the strengthening of key national institutions for political development, has gained increasing recognition in recent years.
Full document available online

Private sector:

Rienstra, D. 2000, 'What can business bring to Balkan Reconstruction?'
How can business better cooperate to maximise contribution to reconstruction in post-conflict situations? Can business cooperation help to bridge the gap between emergency reconstruction and long-term reconstruction? To address these issues, the conference, 'What Can Business Bring to Balkan Reconstruction?' drew more than 200 specialists from the public and private sector from around the world. The Humanitarian Affairs Review report outlines the views of participants and presents the main conclusions derived from the debates.
Full document available online

Gerson, A. 2001 'Peace-building: The private sector's role'
This article from The American Journal of International Law examines the role of the private sector and other actors in peace building, and maintains that a fully coordinated approach is necessary to build and sustain peace. The World Bank and the United Nations are already working together to develop more effectively integrated conflict prevention, post-conflict peace building, humanitarian assistance and development policies.
Full document available online

Bruck, Fitzgerald and Grigsby 2000, 'Enhancing the Private Sector Contribution to Post-War Recovery in Poor Countries'.
This paper by Bruck, FitzGerald and Grigsby analyses the duration and nature of post-war reconstruction in aid-dependant countries and studies the effectiveness of international cooperation in supporting reconstruction efforts. How much have post-war recovery policies contributed to the building of sustainable long-term development? What is the role of the private sector in the reconstruction process?
Full document available online

Key texts: Peace building issues and institutions

Reilly, B. 2002, 'Electoral systems for divided societies', Journal of Democracy, vol. 21, no. 2, April 2002.
This article, in the Journal of Democracy, looks at the impact that preferential electoral systems (that is those that enable voters to rank- order their preferences) have on divided societies, drawing on case studies from Northern Ireland, Estonia, Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service"

Licklider, R. 2002, 'False hopes? Postsettlement democracy and the resumption of civil war', paper delivered at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, 2002.
This paper from the 2002 Annual meeting of the American Political Science Association outlines research undertaken to identify the factors which condition whether a post-civil war country will return to civil war. Prior research in the field has found that post-civil war countries are some of the hardest cases for democratic transition since they often do not have the academically recognised pre- conditions for democracy, such as a democratic tradition, economic development and a consensus on government processes.
Full document available online

Luckham, R., Goetz, A. and Kaldor, M., 2003, Democratic Institutions and Democratic Politics in Bastian and Luckham (eds), Can Democracy be Designed? The Politics of Institutional Choice in Conflict-Torn Societies, Zed Books, London.
A multi-authored paper from the Institute of Development Studies delves into questions about democracy, inequality and conflict considering examples mostly from South Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. The paper makes a distinction between institution and politics, seeking to demonstrate that the spread of democratic institutions does not guarantee the spread of democratic politics.
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service"

Pearce, J. 1999, 'Peace-building in the periphery: lessons from Central America, ' Third World Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1, pp 51-68.
This article identifies distinctions between the conflicts in Africa termed compex political emergencies (CPEs) and the Central American conflicts of the 1980s. This definition of CPEs is used to highlight how international circumstances contribute to modern conflict situations. It identifies how the macro-level context of Central America in the 1990s has impeded creative micro-level peace building initiatives in the region.
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service".

Adekanye, J.M. 1998, 'Power-Sharing in Multi-Ethnic Political Systems,' a shortened version of a paper originally delivered at the UN Research Instituted for Social Development conference, Advancing the Social Agenda: Two Years After Copenhagen, 9-10 July 1997, Geneva.
This paper examines how power-sharing is able to succeed in this task of conflict resolution. Power-sharing is based on a non-Western style of democracy. By its definition it rules out methods such as genocide, the mass transfer of populations and hegemony.
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service".

Stewart, F. and O'Sullivan, M. 1999, 'Democracy, conflict and development - three cases', in Ranis, G. et al (eds.), The Political Economy of Comparative Development into the 21st Century, Edwards Elgar, Cheltenham.
Western governments view the promotion of democracy as desirable both as an end in itself and because of the widespread belief that democracies do not wage war on one another, that they are less likely to repress their own citizens, and that democracy promotes development and growth. This chapter asks whether democracies are really less likely to suffer internal strife, and whether such strife really hampers development.
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service".

Crook, C. 2001, 'Strengthening democratic governance in conflict torn societies: civic organisations, democratic effectiveness and political conflict', IDS Working Paper no. 129, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton.
The effort to resolve violent conflict within societies cannot rest solely on non-political, non-ethnic, non-identity based civil society groups, but must also accept the role of cultural, ethnic and religious groups which may, on the surface, appear to seek to divide the state. If these groups can be mobilised and managed through a system of conflict mediation they may in fact contribute to facilitating peace and democracy within the state.
Full document available online

Key texts: Donor approaches and interventions

Aron, J. 2002, Building Institutions in Post-Conflict African Economies, WIDER Discussion Paper DP2002/124, UNU/WIDER, Helsinki.
Following Norths institutional framework (defined as a combination of both formal and informal rules and how effectively they are enforced), this WIDER discussion paper establishes that well-functioning institutions may promote development. Using empirical evidence of cross-country analysis, it is argued that weak institutions increase transaction costs and discourage investment and productive activity. This finding lends force to the need for institutional reform.
Full document available online

Collier and Hoeffler 2002, 'Aid Policy and Growth in Post-Conflict Societies' World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 2902.
Aiming to address these issues, this working paper from the World Bank provides the first systematic empirical analysis of aid and policy reform in the post- conflict growth process. The study is based on a comprehensive database of large civil wars and covers 27 countries that were in their first decade of recovery during the 1990s. The argument is that donors have been providing aid inefficiently because aid allocation makes no allowance for the special circumstances of post-conflict situations.
Full document available online

World Bank 1998, The World Bank's Experience with Post Conflict Reconstruction, The World Bank, Washington D.C.
The increase of conflicts experienced in the 1990s has tested the ability of the international community to address unprecedented devastation of human and social capital. This assessment by the World Banks Operations Evaluations Department (OED) is based on recent Bank experience in nine countries and evaluates the risks and potential returns of an expanded role for the Bank in post-conflict reconstruction.
Full document available online

Holtzman, S., Elwan, A. and Scott, C. 1998, Post Conflict Reconstruction: the Role of the World Bank, World Bank, Washington D.C.
This World Bank report develops guidelines for a response to post-conflict reconstruction, drawing on experience from its operations in sub-Saharan Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Asia and Central America. Post-conflict reconstruction involves supporting the transition from conflict to peace and building up the socioeconomic framework. It does not necessarily mean rebuilding a framework that existed in a country prior to the conflict as in many cases this may not be possible, or desirable, and may have caused the conflict in the first place. Instead, what is necessary is the reconstruction of enabling conditions for a functioning society.
Full document available online

UNDP 1995, Building Bridges Between Relief and Development: A Compendium of the UNDP Record in Crisis Countries, UNDP.
In a compendium of its activities in crisis countries during the past 5-10 years, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) looks at its role, response, and best practices arising from past interventions. The main theme emerging from many years of experience is that emergency and war often coexist with opportunities for rehabilitation and reconstruction. While programme aid is an increasing feature of international cooperation, it comes with conditions that may or may not be mutually beneficial.
Full document available online

Development Assistance Committee 1997, DAC Guidelines on Conflict, Peace and Development Co-operation, OECD, Paris.
A task force, established in 1995 by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, has produced detailed guidelines covering the design and implementation of development cooperation for conflict prevention and post-conflict recovery. Development cooperation must be coherent, comprehensive, integrated and aimed at helping address the root causes of conflicts.
Full document available online

Cliffe, L. & White, P. 2000, 'Matching response to context in complex political emergencies: relief, development, peace-building, or something in-between?' Disasters, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 314-342.
Neutrality and the exclusive provision of short-term relief are not solutions to the dilemmas faced by agencies working to achieve relief and/or developmental objectives in areas affected by Complex Political Emergencies (CPEs). Nor should seeking linkages between different aid modalities and outcomes be abandoned.
Full document available through: BLDS document delivery service. Please access full summary and then click on the link for "BLDS Document Delivery Service".

Attali, J. 1997, Conflict Prevention: Strategies to Sustain Peace in the Post-Cold War World.
Full document available to order from
(Full document summary available shortly)

Top of page

DFIDThe University of BirminghamIDS