P justino microcon conference 2011

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Synthesis and reflections

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  • 1. A Micro-Level Analysis of Violent Conflict Synthesis and Reflections Patricia Justino Director, MICROCON IDS, 30 June 2011 www.microconflict.eu Twitter: @microconflict #microconflict
  • 2. Key lessons
    • Ordinary people matter
      • People are more than victims: the importance of agency
      • People build resilience in the face of conflict
    • It is about understanding the conflict
      • Length and structure of conflict
      • Nature of violence
      • Institutional change
    • Agency and resilience shape conflict processes and outcomes
  • 3.
  • 4. Main purpose
    • Advance the field of conflict analysis through micro level approach
      • understand individual and group interactions leading to and resulting from violent conflicts ( full conflict cycle )
      • violent conflicts : systematic breakdown of the social contract resulting from and/or leading to changes in social norms, which involve mass violence instigated through collective action
    • Better informed domestic, regional and international conflict policy – placing individuals and groups at the centre of interventions
  • 5. MICROCON Consortium Rest of the World Canada: University of British Columbia South Africa: U niversity of Cape Town Colombia: Universidad de Los Andes India: Institute for Human Development Uganda: Makerere University Kyrgyzstan: Centre for Economic and Social Research United States: Tufts University Yale University Europe Belgium: Centre for European Policy Studies Université Catholique du Louvain Ghent University Free University of Brussels (VUB) Norway: Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies Bulgaria: I nternational Collaboration Institute Affiliated to the German Public Universities Association – Sofia Branch Portugal: University Nova of Lisboa France: University of Rouen Romania: Institute of Agricultural Economics Germany: German Institute for Economic Research United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security Spain: University of Alicante Italy: Institute of International Affairs UK: Institute of Development Studies Poverty Research Unit, Sussex University of Oxford The Netherlands: Institute of Social Studies
  • 6. Evidence and data New Data Existing Data
  • 7. Facts and motivations
    • Until recently conflict and violence not mainstreamed in development policy
    • Concern with state security and state capacity
    • What about the people?
      • 1.5 billion people affected by conflict and violence
      • One third of those living in extreme poverty
      • Over 1/2 of all child mortality in the world
      • Over 40% of all out of school children
      • No conflict-affected country will achieve the MDGs
    • Limited knowledge and evidence of how people live in contexts of violent conflict
  • 8. Knowledge gaps
    •  At a fundamental level, conflict originates from people’s behaviour and how they interact with society and their environment
    • Who are the people affected by violent conflict?
    • How do they live?
    • What do they do to secure lives and livelihoods? What options do they have? What choices do they make?
    • Why are they get affected by violence? In what way? How does violence change options and choices?
    • Are they part of the conflict? What led them into it?
  • 9.
    • What have we learned?
  • 10. Framework
  • 11. Ordinary people matter
    • Important macro causes of violent conflict
      • military, financial, technological, ideological beliefs, mobilisation capacity, strength of state presence
    • Processes of violent conflict also related to:
      • what happens to people during violent conflicts
      • what people do in areas of violence – adapt to secure lives and livelihoods
      •  micro foundations of violent conflict
  • 12. Adaptation affects conflict
    • Welfare effects :
      • Direct: killings, injuries, disability, assets, displacement
      • Indirect:
        • local institutions: markets, social relations, political institutions
        • national economy: economic growth, distribution
    • But people adapt to survive
      • take on available opportunities
      • adapt forms of livelihoods to survival needs
      • join in informal exchange and employment markets
      • form social and political alliances
      • negotiate with local actors
    • Adaptation shapes and is shaped by conflict outcomes and processes
  • 13.
    • It is about understanding the conflict
  • 14. The conflict
      • People’s behaviour, choices, attitudes and preferences shape conflict processes on the ground
        • Where to fight, with whom, for how long
    • Conflict is not a shock
      • Lasts across generations and people adapt accordingly
    • Long-term legacies
      • Some negative; some positive
      • Conflict alters people’s behaviour, choices, attitudes and preferences
    • Transformation and change; not short-term effects
  • 15. The violence
    • Contexts where conflict managed through violent means
    • People’s behaviour, choices, attitudes and preferences enable (or constrain) strategic use of violence
    • Beyond destruction: violence used to force transformation
      • some of it may create more certain and secure environments
    • Interactions between types of violence:
      • violent riots, organised crime, communal violence, domestic violence armed fighting
  • 16. Institutional transformation
    • People resort to local institutions to protect economic status and lives
    • Policy focus on the importance of building institutions – but what institutions and how?
    • Focus still on solving violent conflict through peace agreements between selected leaders, followed by the panacea of DDR, SSR, elections
      • What about the mechanisms that govern the effective implementation of these policies on the ground?
      • Social interactions and local governance structures
  • 17. Social interactions
    • Social norms of trust and cooperation
      • Development and peace-building focus on community-level
      • Support new investments (physical and human capital)
      • DDR and reconstruction programmes?
    • Forms of social organisation
      • Management of property rights
      • Dispute resolution over land and common resources
      • Distribution of public goods and common resources
      • Regulation of access to public goods, basic services and markets
  • 18. Local governance
    • Close link between violent conflict and the absence of the state
    • Absence of state does not mean absence of governance – local order determined by who holds the gun
    • These institutions can be persistent and efficient – provision of basic sense of security
    • Long term process: no short answers to peace and state-building
      • change behaviour, norms and organisations
  • 19.
    • From research to policy
  • 20. How to improve conflict policy
    • Defusing mechanisms : entry points to break long-term negative legacies and build on positive changes
    • This allows:
    • Development policies : incentives to halt use of violence as strategy to influence allocation of power
    • Institution building : what institutions and how?
  • 21. Defusing mechanisms
    • Key channels linking interventions and outcomes
      • Exercise of agency in conflict settings (not always positive)
      • Structure of the conflict
      • Close links between people and conflict processes
    • Which entry points?
    • Development : focus on supporting resilience
      • It is not enough to just look at the ‘poor’; vulnerable to violence
      • Violence and conflict as constant factors in people’s lives
      • Vulnerability is everywhere; not just among those that we can see
      • Institutions : engagement with new/emerging power structures
      • New development actors? From ordinary people to non-state armed actors
  • 22. Development policies
    • Current international policy: (our) security as major goal; development aid as means to support stability
    • Beyond ‘hearts and minds’: (re)establish social contract (broken or contested, sometimes for good reasons)
      • It is about helping to provide opportunities and equality
    • Development should be priority in itself
      • Security is priority for people but for whom, how and what the trade-offs
      • Health, education and economic security beyond emergency aid
      • If states does not provide then someone else will
    • Not just aid: building structures and guaranteeing equitable access to them
      • Humanitarian aid useful but limited to short-term intervention
  • 23. Building institutions
    • Need to get institutions right: Which institutions? How?
    • More attention paid to the other side of the story – what do we do about the institutions that emerge from conflict?
      • Violence instrumental role beyond destruction
      • Emergence of social and political order
    • Implications:
      • Explaining why conflict persists, mutates, and how peace may emerge
      • Survival and security of ordinary people
      • Negotiate with, engage and understand complex distributions of power within populations in conflict-affected contexts
  • 24.
    • Looking ahead
  • 25. Ongoing/Recent Conflicts Recent Revolts / Major Protests Recent Internal Conflicts / Uprisings Ongoing Internal Conflicts Intergroup Violence Drug Related / Gang Violence