11 December 2013 § Leave a Comment
2 December 2013 § Leave a Comment
Judith Verweijen has written an interesting post about her recent research on justice populaire in the Kivus. I’ve always thought of mob justice as a reaction to the state’s inability to provide security or prosecute those accused of wrong-doing, but Verweijen points out that it may also be a response to the declining authority of customary officials.
In some places, vigilante committees, sometimes dominated by demobilized soldiers, have been key in orchestrating the killings. This has been especially the case where vigilantes have taken on the role of assessing witchcraft allegations, which are the second major source of mob justice next to crime suspicions. … The events in the chefferie (chiefdom) of Wagongo in Mahagi territory seem to corroborate this conclusion. In the course of a recent visit, I was told that there had been a strong increase in witchcraft-related mob justice since a conflict around customary power had split the vieux-sages (old, wise men) into two opposing camps, thus reducing their capacity to credibly deal with these cases.
The whole piece is worth reading.
20 November 2013 § Leave a Comment
16 November 2013 § 2 Comments
I’m currently working on a paper about when demobilization occurs after civil war without international intervention. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of rigorous political science literature (in English) on the reasons that some countries implement DDR after conflict and others don’t, or whether peacekeeping makes DDR more likely to succeed. At a more basic level, I also haven’t found a comprehensive list of DDR programs and their outcomes.
Nicholas Sambanis and Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl have a good overview of the conceptual problems with measuring demobilization, and there have been some interesting studies focusing on the individual-level effects of DDR, like Blattman & Annan in Liberia [PDF], Humphreys & Weinstein in Sierra Leone [PDF], Gilligan, Mvukiyehe & Samii in Burundi [PDF], and D’Aoust, Sterck & Verwimp in Burundi [PDF]. Any other recommendations addressing the issues above? Suggestions in English and French are welcome.
13 November 2013 § Leave a Comment
From The Germany Ideology (1846), critiquing other social thinkers of the time who saw “liberation” as a purely philosophical question:
Nor will we explain to them that is only possible to achieve real liberation in the real world and by employing real means, that slavery cannot be abolished without the steam-engine and the spinning-jenny, serfdom cannot be abolished without improved agriculture, and that, in general, people cannot be liberated as long as they are unable to obtain food and drink, housing and clothing in adequate quality and quantity. ‘Liberation’ is a historical and not a mental act (p. 169).
Presages the Lewis-Ranis-Fei model of agricultural productivity by a good century.
10 November 2013 § Leave a Comment
Just wanted to point out that I’ve been listing links to datasets on conflict and governance on the righthand sidebar of the blog’s home page. If you read the blog in an RSS reader or just click on links to specific posts, you may not have seen this. Right now it’s at 24 links and counting, ranging from large dataverses (Harvard, World Bank) to mid-size databases (AidData, PRIO Armed Conflict Data, Yale ISPS,) replication datasets for individual papers (Mapping Migration in the DRC, Non-State Actor Data).
If you’re a Stata user, you may also be interested in the -wbopendata- module, which allows you to download World Bank data directly from Stata.